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Nurs Health Sci. 2005 Jun;7(2):134-42.

Childhood obesity in Taiwan: review of the Taiwanese literature.

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Chang Gung Institute of Technology, School of Nursing, Tao-Yuan County, Taiwan.


In a number of countries, including Taiwan, the prevalence of childhood obesity has been steadily increasing. A study to assess school nurses' perspective on their role in supporting children and preventing childhood obesity in Taiwan is currently being undertaken. A search of the literature reveals that most research publications come from the West and these studies have been useful. However, it is important to isolate the research and policy materials that take into account the contextually and culturally relevant factors in Taiwan and neighboring countries. Findings from a review of the Taiwanese literature are presented in this paper. The literature reveals the factors associated with the prevalence of childhood obesity and prevention strategies. A significant proportion of the research is medical and focuses on cardiovascular disease rather than health promotion and education. However, there are findings in this review that generally support health promotion activities and programs that are school based. There appears to be an urgent need for investment in research that assesses the long-term effectiveness of interventions designed to promote the maintenance of healthy weight during childhood in the Taiwanese society. Western literature is referred to occasionally in this paper in order to introduce an issue or to compare with a Taiwanese paper.

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