Abstract

Evidence of associations between psychopathology and obesity in childhood remains inconsistent, and most studies have been conducted in Western countries. This study investigated psychological and physiological correlates of obesity in a community sample of children in Taiwan. In total, 302 children (157 overweight/obese and 145 healthy-weight children) were selected from first- and fourth-grade schoolchildren in eight elementary schools in 2009. These children participated in a comprehensive health examination, including a physical examination, blood sample analysis, and questionnaire administration. We found that regarding physiological characteristics, compared with the healthy-weight children, the overweight/obese children had significantly higher values for body fat estimated using the bioelectrical impedance method (p <0.001), systolic blood pressure (p <0.001), and diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.001); lower values for high-density lipoprotein (p <0.001); and worse values for glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (p <0.001), triglycerides (p <0.001), and fasting blood glucose (p = 0.049). In logistic models adjusted for parental and child traits and physiological characteristics, children's overweight/obesity was significantly associated with lower self-concept (odds ratio [OR] = 0.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.93-0.99) and less disruptive behavior (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.92-0.99). Less disruptive behavior and the lack of a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression in childhood obesity appear to be a unique pattern in Taiwan that warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17439
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 27 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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