Parental characteristics can influence adolescent obesity. However, the influence of parental characteristics on obesity may differ depending on the adolescent’s sex. This study evaluated parental characteristics that were associated with obesity in male and female adolescents. This study involved the secondary data analysis of cross-sectional survey data that were collected from June to September 2015. The study subjects included 1621 eighth-grade students. The study variables included sex, age, body mass index, household income, parental weight, parental perceptions of the child’s body, parental lifestyle, and parental social support for healthy eating and physical activity. The association between parental factors and adolescent obesity was analyzed via logistic regression analysis for each sex. Among male students, the fathers’ and mothers’ overweight status, fathers’ underestimation and overestimation of male adolescent weight, mothers’ dietary habits, and the mothers’ physical activity level were identified as obesity-associated factors. Among female students, the mothers’ overweight status, underestimation of female adolescent weight by fathers, dietary habits, and the physical activity level of fathers were significantly associated with adolescent obesity. The mothers’ overweight status and the underestimation of weight by fathers were strongly associated with obesity in male and female adolescents. Parental involvement in obesity-intervention programs could help prevent adolescent obesity.
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