childhood obesity, eating behaviors, metabolic syndrome, socioeconomic status



  1. Ham, Ok Kyung PhD


Background: Obesity in children comprises a significant public health concern in Korea. As with increased prevalence of overweight and obesity among children, risk factors for metabolic syndrome (MetS) have also increased in this population.


Objective: The purpose was to examine behavioral and socioeconomic factors that were associated with biomarkers of MetS among overweight/obese school-age children.


Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted, and a convenience sample of 75 overweight/obese school-age children participated. Socioeconomic and behavioral characteristics, anthropometric measurements, and physiologic examinations were studied. The data were analyzed using an analysis of covariance and logistic regression.


Results: Metabolic syndrome was diagnosed in 27.8% of our population. Severe stress was significantly associated with elevated systolic blood pressure (P < .05). Among the family characteristics, children's perception of family income (wealthy and very wealthy) and mother's education level (high school or less) were associated with diagnoses of MetS in children (P < .05).


Conclusions: The results indicated that certain socioeconomic and behavioral characteristics were associated with risk factors of MetS, and therefore, interventions to modify these risk factors are needed to promote the healthy development of overweight/obese school-age children.