The Diet Behavior and Body Image of Overweight Children in Taiwan

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Jui-Fen Cheng, MS, RN
Li-Chi Huang, EdD, RN
School of Nursing, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: 1. understand the diet behavior in overweight children in Taiwan

Learning Objective 2: 2. explore the perception of body image and interpersonal relationship in overweight children in Taiwan.

Purpose: The incidence and prevalence of overweight and obesity children are growing around the world. Evidence is increasingly pointing toward the importance of early life to prevent child hood overweight and obesity. Little is know, in children’s view and experience of being overweight in TaiwanThe purposes of study were to understand the diet behavior and explore the perception of body image and interpersonal relationship in overweight children.

Methods: A qualitative study was designed by using focus group interview. Convenient sampling was conducted from two elementary Schools in central district of Taiwan. A total of 72 overweight children aged 10-12 were participated in the study. Eight focus groups were conducted with each group held lasting 60 minutes. Parents’ consent form were obtained after the ethical considerations were approved by the ethics committee of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Data extraction and synthesis using thematic content analysis revealed eight themes. These related to diet behavior, body image, interpersonal relationship in children, and parenting attitude.

Results: Eight themes emerged were: (1) high fatty/carbohydrates and low fiber diet, (2) containing the sugar and caffeine drink, (3) inconsistent attitude of parents or family, (4) over expectation of reducing weight, (5) low continuity activities in weight reduction, (6) negative feeling of interpersonal relationship, (7) negative body image, and (8) negative coping strategy.
Conclusion: The most disturbance experiences for overweight children are inconsistent attitude of parents or family, negative interpersonal relationship and negative body image. Furthermore, maintaining weight reduction activities and healthy eating habits are difficult for overweight children.