A comparative study of the determinants of physical activity, sedentary behaviours and dietary intake among Korean children in Korea and Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Lee, Jong Gil
  • Background: The rising trends in youth physical inactivity are universal, especially among ethnic minority youth populations. Even though reduced physical activity levels and increased sedentary behaviours have influenced the current epidemic of overweight and obesity in children, little attention has focused on youth physical activity among Asian populations such as Koreans. Research is needed to examine how socio-cultural factors influence health-related behaviours of Korean children in Canada, and whether they are more at risk of being physically inactive than children living in their own country. Purpose: In a series of three studies, this dissertation aimed to compare the environment and health-related behaviours of two cultural groups and then investigate which factors may be related to the differential rates of physical activity, sedentary behavior and dietary intake among Korean children in Korea and Canada. Methods: In Study 1, the reliability of a Korean translation of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) was tested with 48 bilingual children. For Study 2, 1,094 children were recruited from Canada and Korea. Measurement included anthropometric measures, physical activity levels, sedentary behaviours, dietary intake, correlates of physical activity and prevalence of obesity. Pedometers were used to measure physical activity among 198 Korean and Korean Canadian children in Study 3. Results: In Study 1, a significant test-retest correlation was found between the Korean and English versions of the PAQ-C. In Study 2, the interaction effect between group and gender was statistically significant for levels of physical activity. Statistically significant differences also emerged for sedentary behaviours between Korean and Korean Canadian children. In addition, significant differences were found in involvement in organized sports and active transportation to school between the two groups. Significant associations were also identified among the correlates of physical activity in both groups. Conclusion: This dissertation provided important and contextual information regarding the role the environment plays on health-related behaviours in Korean children in Korea and Canada. By exploring environmental influences on physical activity, dietary habits, and sedentary behaviours in relation to childhood obesity, this study may offer new understanding about the important role of socio-cultural factors on children’s health.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • McHugh, Tara-Leigh (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Kolt, Gregory (School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney)
    • Marshall, Dru (Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary)
    • Walker, Gordon (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation)
    • McCargar, Linda (Department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science)