Prevalence of overweight in Hong Kong Chinese children: Its associations with family, early-life development and behaviors-related factors

Jing Jing Wang, Yang GAO, Patrick W C LAU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background Childhood overweight is a crucial public health concern. Recognizing its associated factors can facilitate the establishment of effective prevention strategies. The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence of overweight in Hong Kong Chinese children and explore its influential factors in relation to family, early-life development and behavior-related issues. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in 894 primary school students aged 9-12 years (50.4% boys). Self-reported information on family background (parental body weight, education, employment status, household income, living space, and bedroom situation), early-life developmental variables (birth weight, gestational age and feeding pattern), and children's lifestyle factors (sleep, various eating behaviors and physical activity) were collected with a questionnaire. A logistic regression was performed to test the associations. Results The overweight prevalence in Hong Kong children was 19.9%. Compared to the girls, the boys were more overweight (23.5% vs. 16.3%). Overweight was linked to paternal overweight, maternal overweight, lower maternal education, less monthly household income, and shorter sleep duration. Compared to the breast-fed children, those who were not breast-fed were more likely to become overweight, with marginal significance. Conclusion The present study revealed a high prevalence of overweight in Hong Kong pediatric population and demonstrated the family resemblance in weight status. Further interventions and promotions should involve parents and consider the family as a unit to tackle childhood overweight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Children
  • Early-life factor
  • Overweight
  • Parental overweight
  • Sleep duration


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