Document Type : Original Article
Department of Nutrition, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Science and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Childhood obesity has been known as a world problem. Many diseases, including mental health problems, have been associated with childhood obesity. This study has shown the association between eating behaviors in obese children and their mental health problems. In this cross-sectional study, 161 students aged 7-12 were selected from Tehran's elementary schools. Eating behaviors of children were obtained using the CEBQ, and mental health problems were obtained by the SDQ completed by parents. Standard methods also measured anthropometric indices. Statistical analysis was performed using chi-square, Pearson coefficient, and stepwise multivariate linear regression to examine the CEBQ, SDQ and BMI z-score relationship. The mean age of participants was 9.4±1.88 years. Out of them, 40.4% were boys and 59.6% were girls. The food approach scales significantly correlated with the child's BMI z-score. The food avoidance scales also showed an inverse and significant correlation with BMI z-score. The hyperactivity score also showed a positive and significant relationship with food avoidance behaviors and a negative and significant relationship with BMI z-score. Our findings suggest that children with mental health problems may exhibit more food approach and avoidance behaviors, which are strongly and directly related to childhood obesity.
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