Overweight, obesity, weight-related concerns and behaviours in Hong Kong Chinese children and adolescents

J. P.S. Wong, S. Y. Ho, Man Kin Lai, G. M. Leung, S. M. Stewart, T. H. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To study the prevalence of overweight and obesity, and weight-related concerns and behaviours among overweight, obese and non-overweight children and adolescents. Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional survey of all Chinese students in primary schools in the Central and Western District of Hong Kong in March 2002. Thirty-one of 32 schools participated, and 5402 boys and 5371 girls aged 8 to 15 y who completed a standardized questionnaire were included. We used the International Obesity Task Force definition (IOTF reference) to define overweight and obesity. Results: The prevalence (95% CI) of overweight was 16.4% (15.7-17.1%) (19.9% in boys, 12.9% in girls), and that of obesity was 7.7% (7.2-8.2%) (10.3% in boys and 5.1% in girls). The combined prevalence of overweight and obesity was similar to that based on the local reference. Overweight children had more concerns about their weight than obese children. They were more likely than obese children to feel fat, wish to be lighter, diet and exercise to lose weight. Although obese children were heavier, they did not make more effort to lose weight than overweight children. Conclusions: The differences in weight-related concerns and behaviours among overweight, obese and non-overweight children suggested good validity of the IOTF reference and the self-reported data. The differences between overweight and obese children suggested that the two groups had different psychological states and that they needed different weight management programmes and other intervention strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-601
Number of pages7
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Weight-related concerns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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