Correlation of Obesity and Overweight with Emotional-Behavioral Problems in Primary School Age Girls in Tabriz, Iran|
Seyedamini, Bayanah; Malek, Ayyoub; Ebrahimi-Mameghani, Mehrangiz & Tajik, Ali
Objective: Obesity and overweight have shown an increasing trend in most developing countries. Childhood
obesity would impose numerous health-related problems. This study was conducted to determine the
correlation of obesity and overweight with emotional-behavioral problems in primary school age girls.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 300 primary school girls (aged 7-11 years) were selected using a multistaged
sampling method, including randomized cluster and stratified method. For all students body mass
index was measured and then based on BMI for age and sex, from each grade (1-5), 20 students were selected
for each group of normal weight, overweight and obese. The emotional-behavioral problems were evaluated
using child behavior checklist that consists of 113 items for childhood behavioral problems.
Findings: Total behavioral problems were seen in 17%, 27%, and 2% in obese, overweight, and normal
weight children, respectively. Internalizing problems (including Anxious/Depressed, Withdrawn, and Somatic
Complaints) were seen in 11%, 15%, and 2% and externalizing problems (including Aggressive and
Delinquent Behaviors) were observed in 8%, 17%, and 2% in obese, overweight, and normal weight children,
respectively. The mean scores in all scales were higher in obese and overweight children in comparison with
normal weight children and the emotional-behavioral problems had significant positive correlation with
obesity and overweight (P<0.01).
Conclusion: Despite the cultural differences between east and west, yet there are similarities in the most of
the emotional-behavioral problems related to overweight and obesity. Also, it seems that the risk of
behavioral-emotional problems in overweight girls is more than in obese girls. Overweight and Obesity
prevention may be a primary preventive step for these problems in children.
Child Behavior Checklist; Obesity; Overweight; Psychological Factors; Behavior; Children