Document Type : Original Article


Child Growth and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non‑communicable Disease, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


BACKGROUND: Over the last decades, childhood obesity has become a worldwide epidemic health
problem. Identifying the barriers to a healthy lifestyle among children and adolescents is necessary for
further effective intervention to prevent overweight and obesity. This study aims to assess the barriers
to healthy lifestyle habits, including physical activity (PA), eating, and sleep among adolescents from
the perspective of their parents.
METHODS: In this cross‑sectional study, the parents of obese and overweight middle school students
were enrolled. Data were collected using a questionnaire about barriers of healthy nutrition and PA.
RESULTS: Overall, 172 parents completed the questionnaire. Lack of access to affordable facilities
for PA, lack of access to the appropriate place for PA, and lack of sufficient information on how to
do or increase PA were the main barriers to PA. The barrier factors for healthy eating were media
advertisement of unhealthy foods, lack of motivation to use healthy nutrition, and lack of adequate
information about healthy eating. Regarding poor sleep, lack of knowledge about the benefits of sleep,
prolonged watching television, and late sleep time of family members were reported as the main
barriers. These findings were not statistically different according to the family socioeconomic level.
CONCLUSION: Our findings propose that for improving healthy lifestyle in obese children and
adolescents, access to facilities, and appropriate places for PA should be provided at the community
level. Moreover, training parents and students about healthy lifestyle behaviors is necessary for
families of all socioeconomic levels.


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