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1.  Accessibility of Catering Service Venues and Adolescent Drinking in Beijing, China 
This study assessed the association between accessibility of catering service venues and adolescents’ alcohol use over the previous 30 days. The data were collected from cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2014, 2223 students at 27 high schools in Chaoyang and Xicheng districts, Beijing using self-administered questionnaires to collect the adolescents information on socio-demographic characteristics and recent alcohol experiences. The accessibility of, and proximity to, catering service venues were summarized by weights, which were calculated by multiplication of the type-weight and the distance-weight. All sampled schools were categorized into three subgroups (low, middle, and high geographic density) based on the tertile of nearby catering service venues, and a multi-level logistic regression analysis was performed to explore variance between the school levels. Considering the setting characteristics, the catering service venues weighted value was found to account for 8.6% of the school level variance of adolescent alcohol use. The odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of drinking over the past 30-days among adolescents with medium and high accessibility of catering service venues were 1.17 (0.86, 1.57) and 1.47 (1.06, 2.02), respectively (p < 0.001 for trend test). This study addressed a gap in the adolescent drinking influence by the catering service venues around schools in China. Results suggest that the greater accessibility of catering service venues around schools is associated with a growing risk of recent drinking.
PMCID: PMC4515651  PMID: 26132475
adolescent drinking; catering service venues; alcoholic beverage; accessibility; school environment
2.  Total fluid intake of children and adolescents: cross-sectional surveys in 13 countries worldwide 
European Journal of Nutrition  2015;54(Suppl 2):57-67.
To describe total fluid intake (TFI) according to socio-demographic characteristics in children and adolescents worldwide.
Data of 3611 children (4–9 years) and 8109 adolescents (10–18 years) were retrieved from 13 cross-sectional surveys (47 % males). In three countries, school classes were randomly recruited with stratified cluster sampling design. In the other countries, participants were randomly recruited based on a quota method. TFI (drinking water and beverages of all kinds) was obtained with a fluid-specific record over 7 consecutive days. Adequacy was assessed by comparing TFI to 80 % of adequate intake (AI) for total water intake set by European Food Safety Authority. Data on height, weight and socio-economic level were collected in most countries.
The mean (SD) TFI ranged from [1.32 (0.68)] to [1.35 (0.71)] L/day. Non-adherence to AIs for fluids ranged from 10 % (Uruguay) to >90 % (Belgium). Females were more likely to meet the AIs for fluids than males (4–9 years: 28 %, OR 0.72, p = 0.002; 10–18 years: 20 %, OR 0.80, p = 0.001), while adolescents were less likely to meet the AI than children (OR 1.645, p < 0.001 in males and OR 1.625, p < 0.001 in females).
A high proportion of children and adolescents are at risk of an inadequate fluid intake. This risk is especially high in males and adolescents when compared with females or children categories. This highlights water intake among young populations as an issue of global concern.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00394-015-0946-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4473088  PMID: 26081646
Fluid intake; Children; Adolescents; Worldwide; Dietary assessment; Hydration
3.  Comparison of the China growth charts with the WHO growth standards in assessing malnutrition of children 
BMJ Open  2015;5(2):e006107.
To compare the difference between the China growth reference and the WHO growth standards in assessing malnutrition of children under 5 years.
The households selected from 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in mainland China (except Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao).
Households were selected by using a stratified, multistage probability cluster sampling. Children under 5 years of age in the selected households were recruited (n=15 886).
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Underweight, stunting, wasting, overweight and obesity.
According to the China growth reference, the prevalence of underweight (8.7% vs 4.8%), stunting (17.2% vs 16.1%) and wasting (4.4% vs 3%) was significantly higher than that based on the WHO growth standards, respectively (p<0.001); the prevalence of overweight was lower than that based on the WHO growth standards (9.4% vs 10.2%, p<0.001). In most cases, the prevalence of undernutrition assessed by using the China growth reference was significantly higher. However, the prevalence of overweight was significantly lower by using China charts for boys aged 3–4, 6, 8, 10, 12–18 and 24 months.
The WHO growth standards could be more conservative in undernutrition estimation and more applicable for international comparison for Chinese children. Future researches are warranted for using the WHO growth standards within those countries with local growth charts when there are distinct differences between the two.
PMCID: PMC4342594  PMID: 25716173
malnutrition; children under 5; China growth reference; WHO growth standards
4.  Drinking Patterns and the Association between Socio-Demographic Factors and Adolescents’ Alcohol Use in Three Metropolises in China 
The current study was designed to investigate the drinking patterns and association between socio-demographic factors and adolescents’ alcohol use among high school students from China’s three metropolises, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Using a self-administered questionnaire, we conducted a cross-sectional survey among 13,811 high school students from 136 schools between May and June 2013. A two-stage stratified sampling method was used for subject selection. The prevalence of lifetime drinking was 52.5%; in addition, 38.5% of the students were past-year drinkers, while 20.1% of them had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. During the past year, 29.7% of the students reported that they drank once per month or less, and 22.0% of the students drank less than one standard drink (SD) per occasion. For the students who were not living with their mothers, as well as the students in higher socioeconomic status (SES), the adjusted odds of past and current drinking were significantly higher, compared with those who lived with both parents and low SES. Due to the high prevalence of alcohol consumption among junior and senior high school students in metropolises, attention should be paid by parents, school administrators, educational and public health agencies for making efforts collectively to reduce alcohol availability and drinking among adolescents.
PMCID: PMC4344709  PMID: 25685952
adolescent; alcohol use; drinking pattern; socio-demographic factors
5.  Estimation of salt intake by 24-hour urinary sodium excretion: a cross-sectional study in Yantai, China 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:136.
High levels of dietary sodium are associated with raised blood pressure and adverse cardiovascular health. To determine baseline salt intake, we investigated the average dietary salt intake from 24-hour urinary sodium excretion with a small sample of Yantai adults in the Shandong province of China.
One hundred ninety one adults aged 18–69 years were randomly selected from the Yantai adult population. Blood pressure, anthropometric indices and sodium excretion in a 24-hour urine collection were measured. Consumption of condiments was derived from 3-day weighted records. Completeness of urine collections was verified using creatinine excretion in relation to weight.
The mean Na and K outputs over 24 hours were 201.5 ± 77.7 mmol/day and 46.8 ± 23.2 mmol/day, respectively (corresponding to 11.8 g NaCl and 1.8 g K). Overall, 92.1% of the subjects (96.9% of men and 87.1% of women) had intakes of over 6 g salt (NaCl)/d. The main sources of salt intake from weighed condiments records were from home cooking salt (74.7%) followed by soy sauce (15.0%). Salt intake from condiments and salt excretion were weakly correlated((r = 0.20, p = 0.005).A positive linear correlation between salt intake was associated with systolic blood pressure in all adjusted and unadjusted model (r = 0.16, p = 0.01). Each 100 mmol/day increase in sodium intake was associated with a 4.0 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure.
Dietary salt intake in Yantai adults was high. Reducing the intake of table salt and soy sauce used in cooking will be an important strategy to reduce sodium intake among Yantai adults.
PMCID: PMC3921994  PMID: 24507470
Urinary sodium; Salt intake; Urine
6.  The Costs and Cost-Effectiveness of a School-Based Comprehensive Intervention Study on Childhood Obesity in China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77971.
The dramatic rise of overweight and obesity among Chinese children has greatly affected the social economic development. However, no information on the cost-effectiveness of interventions in China is available. The objective of this study is to evaluate the cost and the cost-effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention program for childhood obesity. We hypothesized the integrated intervention which combined nutrition education and physical activity (PA) is more cost-effective than the same intensity of single intervention.
And Findings: A multi-center randomized controlled trial conducted in six large cities during 2009-2010. A total of 8301 primary school students were categorized into five groups and followed one academic year. Nutrition intervention, PA intervention and their shared common control group were located in Beijing. The combined intervention and its’ control group were located in other 5 cities. In nutrition education group, ‘nutrition and health classes’ were given 6 times for the students, 2 times for the parents and 4 times for the teachers and health workers. "Happy 10" was carried out twice per day in PA group. The comprehensive intervention was a combination of nutrition and PA interventions. BMI and BAZ increment was 0.65 kg/m2 (SE 0.09) and 0.01 (SE 0.11) in the combined intervention, respectively, significantly lower than that in its’ control group (0.82±0.09 for BMI, 0.10±0.11 for BAZ). No significant difference were found neither in BMI nor in BAZ change between the PA intervention and its’ control, which is the same case in the nutrition intervention. The single intervention has a relative lower intervention costs compared with the combined intervention. Labor costs in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Jinan was higher compared to other cities. The cost-effectiveness ratio was $120.3 for BMI and $249.3 for BAZ in combined intervention, respectively.
The school-based integrated obesity intervention program was cost-effectiveness for children in urban China.
Trial Registration
Chinese Clinical Trial Registry ChiCTR-PRC-09000402 URL:
PMCID: PMC3800134  PMID: 24205050
7.  Familial correlation and aggregation of body mass index and blood pressure in Chinese Han population 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:686.
It remains unclear whether the body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) profile are clustered within families in Chinese Han population. The aim of this study is to explore familial aggregation and parent-offspring correlations of BMI and blood pressure in Chinese Han population.
6,369 Han nucleus families, consisting of parents and at least one biological adult child who were living together, were enrolled from the nation-wide cross-sectional study (China National Nutrition and Health Survey) which was conducted in 2002, with a total number of 19,107 participants aged 18–64 years (6,369 sets of parents, 4,132 sons and 2,237 daughters). Family aggregation (Intra-class correlations, ICCs) and parent-offspring correlations in BMI, systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) were estimated using linear mixed effect regression models.
BMI and BP levels in two generations and ICCs of BMI, SBP and DBP varied across the country. Familial aggregation of overweight/obesity was observed in rural area (ICC = 5.4%, p<0.05), and high BP (defined as SBP ≥ 120 mmHg or DBP ≥ 80 mmHg) was more common in low income families (ICC = 4.4%, p<0.05) compared to middle income (ICC = 1.9%) and high income families (ICC = 2.6%). Additionally, offspring with more parents being overweight/obese tend to have higher BMI. The similar trend was found for high BP. However, we did not observe that same-sex parent-offspring correlations of BMI and BP were stronger than the correlations for mother-son or father-daughter.
Our study suggested that familial environments, alongside the impact of genetic factors, could be important non-communicable chronic diseases (NCD) risk factors. Family-based intervention taking both mother and father into account might have great potential in NCD prevention for younger generation.
PMCID: PMC3729501  PMID: 23890201
Body mass index; Blood pressure; Family aggregation; Parent-offspring correlation; Sex-specific
8.  Joint Association of Dietary Pattern and Physical Activity Level with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors among Chinese Men: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66210.
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the joint associations of physical activity level (PAL) and dietary patterns in relation to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among Chinese men. The study population consisted of 13 511 Chinese males aged 18–59 years from the 2002 China National Nutrition and Health Survey. Based on dietary data collected by a food frequency questionnaire, four dietary patterns were identified and labeled as “Green Water” (high consumption of rice, vegetables, seafood, pork, and poultry), “Yellow Earth” (high consumption of wheat flour products and starchy tubers), “New Affluent” (high consumption of animal sourced foods and soybean products), and “Western Adopter” (high consumption of animal sourced foods, cakes, and soft drinks). From the information collected by a 1-year physical activity questionnaire, PAL was calculated and classified into 4 categories: sedentary, low active, active, and very active. As compared with their counterparts from the New Affluent pattern, participants who followed the Green Water pattern had a lower likelihood of abdominal obesity (AO; 50.2%), hypertension (HT; 37.9%), hyperglycemia (HG; 41.5%), elevated triglyceride (ETG; 14.5%), low HDL (LHDL; 39.8%), and metabolic syndrome (MS; 51.9%). When compared to sedentary participants, the odds ratio of participants with very active PAL was 0.62 for AO, 0.85 for HT, 0.71 for HG, 0.76 for ETG, 0.74 for LHDL, and 0.58 for MS. Individuals who followed both very active PAL and the Green Water pattern had a lower likelihood of CVD risk factors (AO: 65.8%, HT: 39.1%, HG: 57.4%, ETG: 35.4%, LHDL: 56.1%, and MS: 75.0%), compared to their counterparts who followed both sedentary PAL and the New Affluent pattern. In addition, adherence to both healthy dietary pattern and very active PAL presented a remarkable potential for CVD risk factor prevention.
PMCID: PMC3686814  PMID: 23840426
9.  Dietary Pattern and Its Association with the Prevalence of Obesity and Related Cardiometabolic Risk Factors among Chinese Children 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43183.
The association of dietary pattern with chronic diseases has been investigated widely in western countries. However, information is quite limited among children in China. Our study is aimed to identify the dietary patterns of Chinese children and examine their association with obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors.
A total of 5267 children were selected using multistage random sampling from 30 primary schools of 5 provincial capital cities in China. Dietary intake was derived from 24 hour dietary recall for three consecutive days. Anthropometric measurements, glucose and lipid profiles were obtained. Factor analysis combined with cluster analysis was used for identifying major dietary patterns. The associations of dietary patterns with obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors were examined by logistic regression analysis.
Three mutually exclusive dietary patterns were identified, which were labeled as the healthy dietary pattern, the transitive dietary pattern, and the Western dietary pattern. Compared with children of the healthy dietary pattern, the multiple-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval (CI)) of obesity were 1.11 (0.89–1.38) for children with the transitive dietary pattern and 1.80 (1.15–2.81) for children with the Western dietary pattern, which was 1.31 (95%CI 1.09–1.56) and 1.71 (95%CI: 1.13–2.56), respectively, for abdominal obesity. The Western dietary pattern was associated with significantly higher concentrations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P<.001), triglycerides (P<.001), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.0435) and fasting glucose (P = 0.0082) and a lower concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.0023), as compared with the healthy dietary pattern.
The Western dietary pattern characterized by red meat, eggs, refined grain and products, was positively associated with odds of obesity, the levels of plasma glucose, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, and was inversely associated with the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
PMCID: PMC3419173  PMID: 22905228
10.  Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among children from six cities of China 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:13.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) in childhood can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia in adulthood, which is of increasing concern in transitional and advanced economies. The aim of the current study was to explore the prevalence of MetS among children from six cities of China.
A total of 8,764 children (4,495 boys, 4,269 girls) aged 7-11 years were randomly selected from 6 cities of China. MetS was mainly defined by the criteria proposed by International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
The overall prevalence of MetS for children older than 10 years was 0.8% by IDF definition. Obese children had significantly higher MetS prevalence compared with their counterparts with overweight (6.6% vs. 0.9%, p < 0.01) and normal weight (6.6% vs. 0.05%, p < 0.01). The prevalence of abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low high density lipoprotein cholesterol, hypertension and high glucose among obese children was 93.4%, 16.5%, 14.3%, 7.3% and 4.0%, respectively, which significantly higher than those among overweight children (37.0%, 6.1%, 10.0%, 4.2%, and 3.3%, respectively) and among normal weight children (1.2%, 3.3%, 4.0%, 1.7% and 2.5%, respectively). The proportion of children with at least one, two, and three items of the metabolic abnormalities were 25.0%, 5.4% and 0.9%, respectively. Metabolic abnormalities were also present in children under 10 years of age.
The early onset of MetS among children and relatively high proportions of children with at least one or two metabolic abnormalities in cities of China can increase the risk of developing MetS. It implies the necessity to take effective actions to control and prevent the rapid development of obesity among children in developing countries, especial those undergoing transition to a Western lifestyle.
PMCID: PMC3316129  PMID: 22225617
11.  Dietary patterns and hypertension among Chinese adults: a nationally representative cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:925.
Several healthful dietary patterns appear to be effective at lowering blood pressure and preventing hypertension. However, the relationship between dietary patterns and hypertension among a representative Chinese population sample is unclear.
A nationally representative sample of 23 671 participants aged 18-59 years were recruited by the 2002 China National Nutrition and Health Survey. All participants had their blood pressure measured with standardized mercury sphygmomanometers. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg. We conducted factor analysis using dietary information from a validated food frequency questionnaire to derive dietary patterns. Information of participants on physical activities, education level, annual household income, smoking status and family history of hypertension was collected by interviewer-administrated questionnaires.
Three major dietary patterns, defined as 'Western', 'traditional northern', and 'traditional southern', were identified. Participants with the highest quartile for the score of the Western pattern had significantly higher blood pressure comparing with counterparts in the lowest quartile. In contrast, participants in the top quartile for the score of the traditional southern pattern presented significantly lower blood pressure comparing with counterparts in the lowest quartile. In multivariate analyses the traditional northern pattern score was associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.30 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.53, P for trend = 0.0001) comparing with the lowest quartile. The OR for the top quartile of score for the traditional southern pattern was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.59-0.89, P for trend = 0.0040) compared with the lowest quartile of traditional southern pattern score. However, the significant association between the traditional northern pattern and prevalence of hypertension disappeared after further adjusting for body mass index (BMI) (P for trend = 0.3), whereas the association between the traditional southern pattern and prevalence of hypertension persisted after further adjusting for BMI (P for trend = 0.01).
We observed a positive relationship between the traditional northern pattern and hypertension that was mediated through differences in BMI. In addition, the traditional southern pattern was significantly associated with lower odds of presenting with hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3299712  PMID: 22168909
12.  Exposure to the Chinese Famine in Early Life and the Risk of Hyperglycemia and Type 2 Diabetes in Adulthood 
Diabetes  2010;59(10):2400-2406.
Early developmental adaptations in response to undernutrition may play an essential role in susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, particularly for those experiencing a “mismatched rich nutritional environment” in later life. We examined the associations of exposure to the Chinese famine (1959–1961) during fetal life and childhood with the risk of hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes in adulthood.
We used the data for 7,874 rural adults born between 1954 and 1964 in selected communities from the cross-sectional 2002 China National Nutrition and Health Survey. Hyperglycemia was defined as fasting plasma glucose ≥6.1 mmol/l and/or 2-h plasma glucose ≥7.8 mmol/l and/or a previous clinical diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Prevalences of hyperglycemia among adults in nonexposed, fetal exposed, early-childhood, mid-childhood, and late-childhood exposed cohorts were 2.4%, 5.7%, 3.9%, 3.4%, and 5.9%, respectively. In severely affected famine areas, fetal-exposed subjects had an increased risk of hyperglycemia compared with nonexposed subjects (odds ratio = 3.92; 95% CI: 1.64–9.39; P = 0.002); this difference was not observed in less severely affected famine areas (odds ratio = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.25–1.31; P = 0.185). The odds ratios were significantly different between groups from the severe and less severe famine areas (P for interaction = 0.001). In severely affected famine areas, fetal-exposed subjects who followed an affluent/Western dietary pattern (odds ratios = 7.63; 95% CI: 2.41–24.1; P = 0.0005) or who had a higher economic status in later life experienced a substantially elevated risk of hyperglycemia (odds ratios = 6.20; 95% CI: 2.08–18.5; P = 0.001).
Fetal exposure to the severe Chinese famine increases the risk of hyperglycemia in adulthood. This association appears to be exacerbated by a nutritionally rich environment in later life.
PMCID: PMC3279550  PMID: 20622161
13.  Ethnic differences in body fat distribution among Asian pre-pubertal children: A cross-sectional multicenter study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:500.
Ethnic differences in body fat distribution contribute to ethnic differences in cardiovascular morbidities and diabetes. However few data are available on differences in fat distribution in Asian children from various backgrounds. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore ethnic differences in body fat distribution among Asian children from four countries.
A total of 758 children aged 8-10 y from China, Lebanon, Malaysia and Thailand were recruited using a non-random purposive sampling approach to enrol children encompassing a wide BMI range. Height, weight, waist circumference (WC), fat mass (FM, derived from total body water [TBW] estimation using the deuterium dilution technique) and skinfold thickness (SFT) at biceps, triceps, subscapular, supraspinale and medial calf were collected.
After controlling for height and weight, Chinese and Thai children had a significantly higher WC than their Lebanese and Malay counterparts. Chinese and Thais tended to have higher trunk fat deposits than Lebanese and Malays reflected in trunk SFT, trunk/upper extremity ratio or supraspinale/upper extremity ratio after adjustment for age and total body fat. The subscapular/supraspinale skinfold ratio was lower in Chinese and Thais compared with Lebanese and Malays after correcting for trunk SFT.
Asian pre-pubertal children from different origins vary in body fat distribution. These results indicate the importance of population-specific WC cut-off points or other fat distribution indices to identify the population at risk of obesity-related health problems.
PMCID: PMC3146863  PMID: 21703012
body fat distribution; ethnicity; children
14.  Dietary Patterns and Glucose Tolerance Abnormalities in Chinese Adults 
Diabetes Care  2009;32(11):1972-1976.
To investigate the association of the dietary pattern with the presence of newly diagnosed glucose tolerance abnormalities among Chinese adults.
A total of 20,210 adults aged 45–69 years from the 2002 China National Nutrition and Health Survey were included. Information on dietary intake was collected using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Factor analysis and cluster analysis were used to identify the food factors and dietary pattern clusters.
Four dietary pattern clusters were identified (“Green Water,” “Yellow Earth,” “Western Adopter,” and “New Affluence”). The prevalence of glucose tolerance abnormalities ranged from 3.9% in the Green Water to 8.0% in the New Affluence. After adjustment for area, age, sex, current smoking, and physical activity, subjects in the Yellow Earth cluster (prevalence ratio 1.22 [95% CI 1.04–1.43]) and New Affluence cluster (2.05 [1.76–2.37]) had significantly higher prevalence rates compared with those for the Green Water cluster. After further adjustment for BMI and waist-to-height ratio, the elevated risk in the New Affluence remained statistically significant.
Dietary patterns and food factors are associated with the presence of glucose tolerance abnormalities in China, even independent of obesity. A New Affluence diet is an important modifiable risk factor, which needs attention from the prevention point of view.
PMCID: PMC2768212  PMID: 19675202
15.  Variant rs9939609 in the FTO gene is associated with body mass index among Chinese children 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:136.
Fat-mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene is a gene located in chromosome region 16q12.2. Genetic variants in FTO are associated with the obesity phenotype in European and Hispanic populations. However, this association still remains controversial in Asian population. We aimed to test the association of FTO genetic variants with obesity and obesity-related metabolic traits among children living in Beijing, China.
We genotyped FTO variants rs9939609 in 670 children (332 girls and 338 boys) aged 8-11 years living in Beijing, and analyzed its association with obesity and obesity-related metabolic traits. Overweight and obesity were defined by age- and sex-specific BMI reference for Chinese children. Obesity-related metabolic traits included fasting plasma glucose, lipid profiles, leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin and blood pressures.
The frequency of rs9939609 A allele was 12.2%, which was 21.9% for the heterozygote and 1.2% for the homozygote of the A allele. The obesity prevalence among the carriers of AA/AT genotypes was significantly higher than that among those with TT genotype (36.4% vs. 22.6%, P = 0.004). Compared to the carrier of TT genotype, the likelihood of obesity was 1.79 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.20-2.67, P = 0.004) for the carrier of AA/AT genotype, after adjustment of sex, age and puberty stages. The BMI Z-score of children with AA/AT genotype were significantly higher than that of their counterparts with the TT genotype (1.1 ± 0.1 vs. 0.8 ± 0.1, P = 0.02). The concentration of triglyceride was 1.03 ± 0.52 mmol/L among TT carrier and 1.13 ± 0.68 mmol/L among AA/AT carrier (P = 0.045). While, the concentrations of adiponectin were 18.0 ± 0.4 μg/ml among carriers of TT and 16.2 ± 0.7 μg/ml among subjects with AA/AT genotype (P = 0.03). The level of glucose marginally increased in the AA/AT genotype subjects (4.67 ± 0.40 mmol/L vs. 4.60 ± 0.35 mmol/L, P = 0.08). The evidence of association was reduced after adjustment for BMI (P = 0.38 for triglyceride, P = 0.20 for adiponectin and glucose). There was weak evidence of association between rs9939609 and other obesity-related metabolic traits including total cholesterol (3.92 ± 0.03 mmol/L vs. 4.02 ± 0.05 mmol/L, P = 0.10), insulin (2.69 ± 1.77 ng/ml vs. 3.12 ± 2.91 ng/ml, P = 0.14), and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR 0.56 ± 0.03 vs. 0.66 ± 0.05, P = 0.10).
Genetic variation in the FTO gene associates with obesity in Chinese children.
PMCID: PMC2955568  PMID: 20858286
16.  The Association of Weight Status with Physical Fitness among Chinese Children 
Objective. To investigate the association of weight status with physical fitness among Chinese children. Methods. A total of 6929 children aged 6–12 years were selected from 15 primary schools of 5 provincial capital cities in eastern China. The height and fasting body weight were measured. The age-, sex-specific BMI WHO criteria was used to define underweight, overweight and obesity. Physical fitness parameters including standing broad jump, 50 m sprint, and 50 m∗8 shuttle run were tested. Results. The prevalence of underweight, overweight, and obesity was 3.1%, 14.9%, and 7.8%, respectively. Boys performed better than girls, and the older children performed better than their younger counterparts for all physical fitness tests. No significant difference in all three physical fitness tests were found between children with underweight and with normal weight, and they both performed better than their counterparts with overweight and obese in all three physical fitness tests. The likelihood of achieving good performance was much lower among overweight and obese children in comparison with their counterparts with normal weight (OR = 0.13–0.54). Conclusions. An inverse association of obesity with cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle explosive strength, and speed was identified among Chinese children.
PMCID: PMC2905728  PMID: 20652083
17.  Associations between body mass index, weight control concerns and behaviors, and eating disorder symptoms among non-clinical Chinese adolescents 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:314.
Previous research with adolescents has shown associations of body weight, weight control concerns and behaviors with eating disorder symptoms, but it is unclear whether these associations are direct or whether a mediating effect exists. This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of overweight and obesity, weight control concerns and behaviors, and eating disorder symptoms and to examine the mediating function of weight control concerns and behaviors on the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and eating disorder symptoms among non-clinical adolescents in China.
A cross-sectional survey among 2019 adolescent girls and 1525 adolescent boys in the 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th grades from seven cities in China was conducted. Information on weight control concerns and behaviors, and eating disorder symptoms (Eating Disorder Inventory-3) were collected from the adolescents using a self-administrated questionnaire.
Weight control concerns and behaviors, and eating disorder symptoms were prevalent among the study population. A high proportion of adolescents scored at or above the threshold on the eating disorder inventory (EDI) subscale such as bulimia, interoceptive deficits, perfectionism, and maturity fears, which indicated eating disorder symptoms. High BMI was significantly associated with high score of drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction, bulimia, low self-esteem, interceptive deficits and maturity fears, so do perceived body weight status. Almost all weight control concerns and behaviors we investigated were significantly associated with high EDI subscale scores. When weight control concerns were added to the model, as shown in the model, the association between BMI and tendency of drive to thinness and bulimia was attenuated but still kept significant. The association between BMI and body dissatisfaction were no further significant. The association of BMI and drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction and bulimia was considerably weaker than when weight control behaviors were not included.
Weight control concerns and behaviors may be mediators of the association between BMI and eating disorder symptoms. Interpretation of these weight control problems is crucial to develop culturally appropriate educational and intervention programs for adolescents.
PMCID: PMC2904271  PMID: 20525394
18.  The nutrition-based comprehensive intervention study on childhood obesity in China (NISCOC): a randomised cluster controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:229.
Childhood obesity and its related metabolic and psychological abnormalities are becoming serious health problems in China. Effective, feasible and practical interventions should be developed in order to prevent the childhood obesity and its related early onset of clinical cardiovascular diseases. The objective of this paper is to describe the design of a multi-centred random controlled school-based clinical intervention for childhood obesity in China. The secondary objective is to compare the cost-effectiveness of the comprehensive intervention strategy with two other interventions, one only focuses on nutrition education, the other only focuses on physical activity.
The study is designed as a multi-centred randomised controlled trial, which included 6 centres located in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shandong province, Heilongjiang province and Guangdong province. Both nutrition education (special developed carton style nutrition education handbook) and physical activity intervention (Happy 10 program) will be applied in all intervention schools of 5 cities except Beijing. In Beijing, nutrition education intervention will be applied in 3 schools and physical activity intervention among another 3 schools. A total of 9750 primary students (grade 1 to grade 5, aged 7-13 years) will participate in baseline and intervention measurements, including weight, height, waist circumference, body composition (bioelectrical impendence device), physical fitness, 3 days dietary record, physical activity questionnaire, blood pressure, plasma glucose and plasma lipid profiles. Data concerning investments will be collected in our study, including costs in staff training, intervention materials, teachers and school input and supervising related expenditure.
Present study is the first and biggest multi-center comprehensive childhood obesity intervention study in China. Should the study produce comprehensive results, the intervention strategies would justify a national school-based program to prevent childhood obesity in China.
Trial Registration
Chinese clinical trial registry (Primary registry in the WHO registry network) Identifier: ChiCTR-TRC-00000402
PMCID: PMC2876107  PMID: 20433766
19.  Waist circumference cut-off values for the prediction of cardiovascular risk factors clustering in Chinese school-aged children: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:82.
Waist circumference has been identified as a valuable predictor of cardiovascular risk in children. The development of waist circumference percentiles and cut-offs for various ethnic groups are necessary because of differences in body composition. The purpose of this study was to develop waist circumference percentiles for Chinese children and to explore optimal waist circumference cut-off values for predicting cardiovascular risk factors clustering in this population.
Height, weight, and waist circumference were measured in 5529 children (2830 boys and 2699 girls) aged 6-12 years randomly selected from southern and northern China. Blood pressure, fasting triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and glucose were obtained in a subsample (n = 1845). Smoothed percentile curves were produced using the LMS method. Receiver-operating characteristic analysis was used to derive the optimal age- and gender-specific waist circumference thresholds for predicting the clustering of cardiovascular risk factors.
Gender-specific waist circumference percentiles were constructed. The waist circumference thresholds were at the 90th and 84th percentiles for Chinese boys and girls respectively, with sensitivity and specificity ranging from 67% to 83%. The odds ratio of a clustering of cardiovascular risk factors among boys and girls with a higher value than cut-off points was 10.349 (95% confidence interval 4.466 to 23.979) and 8.084 (95% confidence interval 3.147 to 20.767) compared with their counterparts.
Percentile curves for waist circumference of Chinese children are provided. The cut-off point for waist circumference to predict cardiovascular risk factors clustering is at the 90th and 84th percentiles for Chinese boys and girls, respectively.
PMCID: PMC2836988  PMID: 20170510

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