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The Study on the Weight States, Dietary Behavior, and Physical Activity among the Junior High School Students in Chia Yi City
Lee C. M.
The aim of the research was to explore the weight states, dietary behavior, and physical activity among the public junior high school students in Chia Yi City. The factors that influence weight states include genetic and environmental factors. The research focused on the environmental factors, such as diet and physical activity. The study population was the public junior high school students in Chia Yi City. Fifteen classes were randomly selected, with valid questionnaire being 452. A structured questionnaire was developed and the data were collected by the researcher and school nurses. The questionnaire included three parts: background information, dietary behavior, and physical activity. The study tool was adapted from the “Student Weight Control Manual edited by the Ministry of Education (1999) and the "The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IAPQ) " by Dr. Ying-Mei Liu (2003). The study found that about half of the junior high school students in Chia Yi City had normal weight states, with overweight/obese and too-thin being about thirty percent and twenty percent, respectively. The weight states was significantly different among the students with different gender. The rate of too-thin among the female students was higher than that of overweight/obese. In contrast, the rate of overweight/obese was higher than that of too-thin among the male students. The weight states was significantly different among the students with different snacks taking, sweet-beverage drinking, and snack taking before going to bed. Compared to the too-thin and normal weight states groups, the overweight/obese group took more snacks, drank more sweet beverages, and took more snacks before going to bed. In addition, the weight states was significantly different among the students with different time spend on moderate activity. It is suggested that school health education curriculum should emphasize nutrition education. For female students, nutrition education should assist them to explore body image and to correct the myth of “thin is beautiful.” For male students, they should be taught the concept of proper diet and how to appropriately choose healthful foods. Snack taking, sweet-beverage drinking, and snack taking before going to bed should also be discussed in the nutrition class to help students to develop good eating habits. In addition, schools should develop moderate activity for the students and encourage them to take exercise daily and longer.
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