Researching toddler obesity in Hong Kong: A preliminary study

Mei Sheung Christine CHAN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


The level of general health of preschool children in Hong Kong is debatable, despite the fact that most people in Hong Kong are enjoying a long lifeexpectancy, and an increasing proportion have come to enjoy a high standard of living over the last few decades of the 20th century. There has been a constant rise in the rate of young people suffering from dietary-related diseases, such as young adulthood diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (HKHA, 2004). A current study indicates that Hong Kong junior primary school children generally suffer from (1) insufficient sleep (2) missed breakfast and/or lack of vegetables (3) a lack of outdoor activities (Lee, 2001). Moreover, childhood morbidity due to obesity has been increasing amongst children aged 3-6 for a decade (Leung, 2000). In addition, a recent survey reported that the majority parents hoped that their children looked plump since that is considered to be healthy (Ming Pao, 13 March 2004). A pilot study was conducted prior to a major study. Both qualitative and quantitative studies were used for this ethnographic study. Food-card-based semi-structured interviews, a weekly dietary diary, home visits and life participation, together with the Child’s Body Image. Questionnaire and Cultural Adherence Scale were employed for primary childcare providers (parents, maids or relatives) with toddlers of different BMI (Body Mass Index). Two cases and 100 subjects were recruited from Childcare Centers and Kindergartens where different types of Public and Private Housing Estates were located. Ethnographic, thematic and the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) statistical analysis were used. The preliminary results suggested that there is a relationship between primary childcare providers’ perception of children body image and their levels of cultural adherence. Together, childcare practices and socioeconomic characteristics could be essential factors affecting toddlers’ food choice and diet preference offered by their primary care providers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


Chan, C. (2006, March). Researching toddler obesity in Hong Kong: A preliminary study. Paper presented at the 2006 Annual International Nursing Research Conference, York, England.


  • Teacher Education
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development


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