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A longitudinal analysis of the impact of childhood stress on weight status among Chinese youth

International Journal of Obesity volume 41, pages 820823 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Limited research has explored longitudinal impact of stress on negative health outcomes, including overweight and obesity in Asian societies. Using data from a longitudinal school-based health promotion study conducted in Wuhan, China from 1999 to 2004, this study investigated the longitudinal effects of childhood stress exposure, including stressors related to school, family, peers, violence and health on overweight, and obesity risk during the transition to adolescence among 2179 Chinese adolescents. Results showed that health stressors were consistently related to higher BMI Z score for both boys and girls baseline, it also predicted higher likelihood of overweight status over time for girls. This finding highlights a particularly challenging time period for girls, suggesting a particular challenging time they face at the intersection of puberty and demanding school environment.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Claremont Graduate University/University of Southern California Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC), funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant #1 P50 CA84735-01, Johnson as PI), and the Sidney R Garfield Endowment. Manuscript preparation was partially supported by the grant (1 R03 CA172985-01, Xie as PI). WE thank the China Seven Cities Study (CSCS) directors and project staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the cities of Chengdu, Hangzhou, Harbin, Qingdao, Shenyang, and Wuhan and the Institute for Health Education in Kunming, People’s Republic of China, for assistance with project coordination and data collection. We also thank the principals, physicians and teachers in the participating schools for their cooperation. Finally, we express our gratitude to the national Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Peking University School of Public Health, and the municipal government, Health Bureau, and Education Committee in each participating city for their support.

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Author notes

    • H C Tanenbaum
    •  & Y Li

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. School of Community and Global Health, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, USA

    • H C Tanenbaum
    • , J Q Felicitas-Perkins
    • , M Zhang
    • , P Palmer
    • , C A Johnson
    •  & B Xie
  2. School of Social Work, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA

    • Y Li

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Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to H C Tanenbaum or Y Li or B Xie.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2017.26