The Specific Characteristics of Childhood Obesity and the Effective Strategies to Combat Childhood Obesity in Hong Kong: A Short Review

Sze Wan LO, Winnie Cheng Lai Sheung, Bob SUN FengHua, Sing Kai LO


Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem all around the world. The problem also currently exists in Hong Kong. Unhealthy lifestyle behavior may be one of key factors contributing to childhood obesity. The review revealed the specific characteristics of childhood obesity and the effective strategies in prevention of childhood obesity in Hong Kong context. Hong Kong is a metropolitan city which is interwoven eastern and western culture. The historical reasons and the complex political issues lead to overcrowded of people living in a small place. The environmental factors and the lifestyle pattern are the crucial causes contributing to childhood obesity. Parents have significant influence in shaping lifestyle behavior of children. While Chinese culture, informal childcare and more energy-dense food consumptions are the specific factors affecting children in lifestyle behavior as shown in the previous studies. The finding of the present review paper is expected to realize root causes of the prevalence of childhood obesity. On the other hand, many studies regarding to the treatment of childhood obesity were also reviewed. It was found that fewer studies were conducted to provide the combined intervention to combat childhood obesity. Generally, parental education was not the focus of childhood obesity intervention programs and parent-oriented approach was not commonly adopted in these programs. While limited childhood obesity intervention programs have been conducted in Hong Kong, it is recommended to conduct an appropriate program for children specifically in Hong Kong context. The design of preventive strategies should take into consideration of these specific characteristics in Hong Kong to reverse the increased prevalence of childhood obesity.


childhood obesity, lifestyle behaviour, Hong Kong; Parental education

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