Analyzing the distinguishing factors that affect childhood obesity in South Korea
Understanding obesity in children is crucial because it can lead to adulthood obesity and result in fatal chronic diseases. Distinctive factors associated with obesity in adults have been described, but distinctive factors related to children remain unclear. We analyzed the correlation between the percentage of body mass index and lifestyle habits by conducting surveys on physical, nutritional, and psychological factors, and we used annual physical examination data to compare different traits among elementary school students (n = 197) and middle school students (n = 461). Our study revealed that the computing hours in elementary school students with overweight and obesity were significantly correlated with the percentage of body mass index (r = 0.29 on school days and r = 0.35 on days off, all P<0.05). No statistically significant difference was found (all P>0.05) in the computing hours of middle school students with overweight and obesity. Childhood obesity can cause depression and reduce children’s quality of life because of their distorted body perception. In conclusion, physical factors directly affecting childhood obesity and psychological and environmental factors surrounding a child should be considered.