Research on Childhood Obesity among Preschool-age Children in Taiwan
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a senior research scholar working on a cross-strait research project in Taiwan and Mainland China. The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated childhood obesity as a global epidemic and a major public health issue. Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 85th percentile and below the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. For adults, overweight is defined as a BMI of 24 to 27.99 and obesity is a BMI of 28 or higher. The prevalence of childhood obesity is growing fast in many developing countries, including Taiwan. Given that obesity at preschool age is associated with young adulthood obesity and young adulthood obesity is associated with adverse cardio-metabolic psychosocial outcomes, preschool years are a critically important period for developing healthy lifestyles and preventing childhood obesity. As a global health nursing researcher, this opportunity to stay in Taiwan to understand how familial and environmental factors contribute to the global obesity epidemic is one of the best investments I have ever made.