Influencing Factors in Childhood Obesity Based on an Ecological Model: Findings from Focus Group Interviews

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Hee Soon Kim, PhD, RN, FAAN1
Hyunjung Yun, MSN, RN2
Jiyoung Park, MSN, RN2
Yumi Ma, MSN, RN2
Kye-yeong Park, BSN, RN2
(1)College of Nursing, Department of Family and Child Health Care, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
(2)College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the importance of multi-level approach for effective management of obese children.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe the personal and environmental factors influencing childhood obesity by applying an ecological model.

Purpose: The current study aimed at describing influencing factors in childhood obesity by applying an ecological model to develop multi-level intervention.

Methods: Two focus groups with 15 children, two focus groups with 16 parents, and one focus group with 7 community health providers were conducted. A standard manual with open-ended questions was developed. Content analysis methods were used to identify key findings through independent reviews.

Results: Findings were classified with multi-level focuses based on the ecological model. 1) Intrapersonal: Obese children described bad eating habits (e.g. fasting eating, unbalanced eating, eating a high-calorie snack between meals) and lack of the opportunity for outdoor activities. They also expressed obesity-related stress in their social interactions with siblings and friends. 2) Interpersonal: Parents mentioned lack of the effective coping skills to manage their children. Working parents especially said they tended to have children eat fast and prefer favorable instant food to save cooking time. 3) Community: Community health providers explained major barriers were parents and school staffs’ lack of awareness of the importance of obesity management and uncollaboration between schools and government institutions.

Conclusion: These findings provide fundamental data to develop multi-level intervention which can be the most effective strategies for obese children.