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Intergenerational and Urban-Rural Health Habits in Chinese Families

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Objective: To explore intergenerational health habits and compare differences between urban and rural families.

Methods: A total of 2500 families with children ages 6-18 in China were surveyed regarding their health habits.

Results: Urban families reported significantly greater food variety and more time exercising (for fathers and children) than did rural families. Children's exercise time was associated with fathers' exercise time, whereas children's drinking and smoking were associated with mothers' drinking and smoking.

Conclusions: These linkages across generations in health habits highlight the need to develop preventive strategies with consideration for intergenerational influences and rural-urban differences.

Keywords: BMI; children; health habit

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Research Sociologist, UCLA Center for Community Health, Los Angeles, CA.

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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