Background: Tainan City has the third highest prevalence of junior high school student obesity of all administrative districts in Taiwan. School nurses play an important role in promoting student health. Understanding the factors that significantly impact student weight is critical to designing effective student health promotion programs. Purpose: This study explored the relationships between health promotion behavior and serum biomarker variables and body size. Methods: Researchers used a cross-sectional descriptive study design and stratified cluster random sampling. Subjects were 7th graders who received an in-school health checkup with blood test at 41 public junior high schools in Tainan City between July 2010 and May 2011. Research instruments included the adolescent health promotion (AHP) scale, serum biochemical profile and BMI (body mass index). Obtained data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Of the 726 students who participated in this study, 22.2% were underweight and 23.8% were overweight or obese. Higher AHP scores correlated with better biomarkers and body size. Multivariate analysis found factors that increased the risk of being overweight included: being male, having a father with a relatively low level of education, playing video games frequently, and doing little or no exercise (odds ratio = 1.93, 1.75, 1.07, 1.04, respectively). Conclusions / Implications for practice: Participants with relatively healthy behaviors had better biomarkers and a lower risk of being overweight. Findings can support the development of evidence-based school programs to promote student health.
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