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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1998;31(2): 199-214.
Factors influencing weight control behavior and intention of obese children and adolescents.
Yunju Kang, Myongsei Sohn, Kinam Jin, HanJoong Kim, Heechoul Ohr, Sungjae Shin
1Seoul School Health Center, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea.
3Department of Health Adminstration, Yonsei University College of Health Science, Korea.
ABSTRACT
This study was undertaken to explain weight control behavior and intention of obese children and adolescents as measured by the elements of the health belief model. A total of 732 obese students from 28 schools in Seoul metropolitan area and their mothers were assessed with a self-administered questionnaire. The analyzed results are as follows; l. Among obese students, 45.3% of male students and 57.2% of female students, a significantly higher portion than male students, reported that they had tried to lose weight within the recent year. Exercise was the most frequently used method to lose weight followed by diet control, drug use, and specialized clinic visits, in descending order. 2. Male students were more likely to try to lose weight if they perceived a low threat level and their mother had a job, and female students were more likely to try to lose weight if they were younger in age, perceived a low threat level and had strong external motivating factors. 3. Female students showed a significantly higher level of intention to obesity control than male students, and the intention level of their mothers also showed the same trend. 4. In male students, the degree of weight dissatisfaction, weight control experience, the level of obesity related beliefs of students, the educational level of the mother and economic status of the family were significant predictors of intention to obesity control, and in females, age, the level of obesity related beliefs of students and intention of their mothers were significant. In the mothers of male students, obesity index of students, age of the mother and the level of obesity related beliefs of the mother were significant predictors of intention of the mother, and in the mothers of female students, obesity index of students, occupational status of the mother and obesity related beliefs of the mother were significant. 5. According to the path model of intention to obesity control, the degree of weight dissatisfaction had the most powerful effect in male students, and perceived net benefit level was the most important variable in female students. Since the weight control behavior and intention of obese students were more predictable by the degree of weight dissatisfaction than the obesity index, we can conclude that only the students dissatisfied with their weight are well motivated for obesity control. There can be a discrepancy between the mother and her child's beliefs and intention status(especially in male students), so the therapists should also assess the student's opinion as well as the mother's. In female students, the perceived net benefit level was the most important predictor of intention to obesity control, therefore the intervention program should pay particular attention to the positive benefits of weight control rather than negative aspects(threats) of obesity.
Key words: Childhood and adolescent obesity; Health belief model; Weight control behavior; Intention to obesity control; Weight dissatisfaction; Obesity index
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