Abstract P205: Behavioral Characteristics Associated with Biomarkers of Metabolic Syndrome Among Overweight/Obese Children in Korea
Introduction: Obesity rates have increased twofold among children in Korea over the past decade, posing a significant public health concern. Researchers have reported that 27% of overweight/obese children in Korea have metabolic syndrome (MS). However, there are no studies that elucidate factors influencing MS among children that could provide directions for future interventions for this specific population of children.
Purpose: The purpose was to examine behavioral and socioeconomic factors that were associated with biomarkers of MS among overweight/obese Korean children to provide information for the development of tailored education for prevention of MS.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a convenience sample of 75 overweight/obese children recruited from four elementary schools in South Korea. The instrument included exercise frequency, eating behavior, sleep hours, stress, and screen time. Anthropometric measurements included weight, height, and waist circumference. Physiological variables included blood pressure (BP), fasting blood sugar (FBS), total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics including chi-square tests and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with age as a covariate.
Results: The mean age of the children was 10.6 years (SD=1.01, range 8-13), and 56.8% were boys. Thirty percent were identified as having MS with three or more risk factors (BP ≥ 130/80 mmHg, HDL cholesterol< 40 mg/dL, triglyceride >120 mg/dL, FBS > 100 mg/dL, and > 90th percentile value for waist circumference). MS was associated with family income, and children from more affluent families were more likely to have MS (p < 0.05). Children with higher stress were more likely to have elevated systolic BP; children who frequently consumed fast food were more likely to have lower total cholesterol; and children who usually ate a late dinner were more likely to have higher LDL cholesterol compared to their counterparts (p< 0.05). Screen time, exercise frequency, and sleep duration were not significant (p > 0.05). Among socioeconomic factors, mother’s employment status and education level were not significant (p > 0.05). However, children who had fathers with at least college level education were more likely to have elevated diastolic BP, and those from more affluent families were more likely to have elevated systolic BP compared to their counterparts (p< 0.05).
Conclusion: Eating behavior, stress, and family socioeconomic factors were associated with MS and deviation in biomarkers among overweight/obese children. This needs to be incorporated into future development of education programs for this specific population at risk.
Author Disclosures: O. Ham: None. Y. Kang: None. E. Im: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.