Obesity among adolescents: Sedentary leisure time and sleeping as determinants

Yiing Mei Liou*, Tsan Hon Liou, Lu Chuan Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Aim: This paper is a report of a study of the association between various risk factors and obesity among adolescents. Background: Over the past 30 years, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents has nearly tripled. Physical inactivity, unbalanced diet, and unhealthy lifestyles may cause lifelong obesity. Methods: A representative, national cross-sectional study was carried out between 2006 and 2007 with 40 middle high schools with 384 classes. We used a three-stage stratified systematic sampling design with a probability proportionate to the size from the northern, middle, southern, and eastern areas in Taiwan. Questionnaires were completed by 8640 students (51·7% boys and 48·3% girls) aged between 13 and 16 years. Results: Obesity was identified in 7·2% of the participants and 16·1% were overweight. Using stepwise logistic regression, we found that those whose fathers or mothers were obese, watched television for more than 2 hours/day on weekdays and slept for less than 7·75 hours/day at weekends had a statistically significantly greater risk of obesity (females: ORs = 3·4, 4·2, 1·8, and 4·2, respectively; P < 0·05; boys: ORs = 2·3, 1·7, 1·4, and 1·6, respectively; P < 0·05). Conclusion: To help prevent obesity, strategies are needed to decrease adolescents sedentary leisure time and help them have sufficient sleep. Nurses can play a key role in health promotion in relation to childhood and adolescent obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1246-1256
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Adolescents
  • Determinants
  • Health
  • Leisure time
  • Nursing
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary
  • Sleep


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