Weight-related behaviors among non-overweight adolescents: results from the Korean national survey from 2005 to 2007

Kayoung Lee
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012, 21 (2): 215-9
This study aimed to assess the prevalence of overweight misperception, unhealthy diet practices, and factors associated with these weight-related behaviors among Korean adolescents. The subjects were a nationally representative sample of non-overweight students (52,515 in 2005, 64,084 in 2006, and 67,113 in 2007) in middle and high schools who completed the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey. The prevalence of weight-related behaviors and factors associated with these behaviors were assessed using a complex sampling design. Of non-overweight students, 14.9% of boys and 22.2% of girls reported their weight as overweight/obese. Dieting within the last year was reported by 19.8% of boys and 41.8% of girls. Of those who attempted dieting, 17.1% of boys and 24.6% of girls indicated practicing at least one unhealthy diet behavior within the last month. Overweight misperceptions were independently associated with diet attempts and unhealthy diets after adjustment for weight status, and demographic, social, and psychological factors. Additionally, these weight-related behaviors were also associated with psychosocial factors such as low school achievement, sadness, suicidal ideation, increased stress perception, and cigarette or alcohol use. In conclusion, the high prevalence of inappropriate weight-related behaviors suggests a need for comprehensive approaches to improve weight-related behaviors in non-overweight Korean adolescents.

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