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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 512148, 13 pages
Research Article

Dimensional Model for Estimating Factors influencing Childhood Obesity: Path Analysis Based Modeling

The Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 26 February 2014; Accepted 21 May 2014; Published 7 July 2014

Academic Editor: Julio Sérgio Marchini

Copyright © 2014 Maryam Kheirollahpour and Shamarina Shohaimi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The main objective of this study is to identify and develop a comprehensive model which estimates and evaluates the overall relations among the factors that lead to weight gain in children by using structural equation modeling. The proposed models in this study explore the connection among the socioeconomic status of the family, parental feeding practice, and physical activity. Six structural models were tested to identify the direct and indirect relationship between the socioeconomic status and parental feeding practice general level of physical activity, and weight status of children. Finally, a comprehensive model was devised to show how these factors relate to each other as well as to the body mass index (BMI) of the children simultaneously. Concerning the methodology of the current study, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied to reveal the hidden (secondary) effect of socioeconomic factors on feeding practice and ultimately on the weight status of the children and also to determine the degree of model fit. The comprehensive structural model tested in this study suggested that there are significant direct and indirect relationships among variables of interest. Moreover, the results suggest that parental feeding practice and physical activity are mediators in the structural model.