Factors associated with obesity among Korean adolescents


Obesity has been a great interest of public health. Studies simultaneously examining various factors associated with obesity among adolescents have been limited. Therefore, this study aimed to examine how various factors (socio-economic status, sex, age, diet, and physical activity) were simultaneously associated with obesity among Korean adolescents. This study analyzed two nationally representative datasets: 2008 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination and Survey (KNHANES) and 2008 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey (KYRBWS). A total of 900 adolescents (12-18 year-old) in KNHANES and 74,451 adolescents in KYRBWS were included in statistical analyses with SPSS 19.0. Overweight (5.7%) and obesity (13.9%) rates were determined in KNHANES, and KYRBWS showed somewhat lower rates. No significant associations between the various factors and obesity were found in KNHANES. However, the analysis of KYRBWS confirmed higher obesity risk for boys, lower economic status, inferquent high-energy/low-nutrient type food consumption, practicing moderate-intensity physical activity less than five days per week, spending more than 2 hours sitting per day, and having tried exercise or diet for weight control (p < 0.05). The results from the two national datasets seemed to generally agree that many of the various obesity risk factors were important among Korean adolescents, although the associations were mostly not significant in KNHANES. It seemed that obese adolescents tried to practice good dietary behaviors, but not necessarily physical activity, known to reduce obesity risk. Obesity policies should continue to help adolescents achieve an active lifestyle and healthy eating behaviors.

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Heo, G. , Nam, S. and Lee, S. (2013) Factors associated with obesity among Korean adolescents. Health, 5, 1328-1334. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.58180.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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