Korean J Community Nutr.  2016 Jun;21(3):265-273. 10.5720/kjcn.2016.21.3.265.

Status of Maternal Nutrition in South and North Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. hoonyoon@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Office of Nutrition Policy and Programs for North Korea, Research Institute of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
This study compared the nutritional status of child-bearing age women between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
METHODS
The data presented in the DPRK Final Report of the National Nutrition Survey 2012 was utilized for the nutritional status and food intake of North Korean women. To produce the South Korean women's data comparable to those of North Korean women, the data from the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Survey were analyzed and the data presented in the 2010 Report of the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards were utilized.
RESULTS
The prevalence of maternal anemia (blood hemoglobin < 12.0 g/dL) was over 30% in all the age groups of North Korean women and 8.9%, 14.2%, 16.4% in 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 year old South Korean women, respectively. The prevalence of maternal protein-energy malnutrition (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference < 22.5 cm) was 25.2%, 21.4%, 21.8% in 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 year old North Korean women, respectively and less than 10% in all the age groups of South Korean women. Result of dietary diversity comparison showed that North Korean women consumed less food than South Korean women at all food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy. Percentage of North Korean women having consumed protein rich foods-meat and fish, eggs or dairy products-were much lower than those of South Korean women.
CONCLUSIONS
The striking disparity of nutritional status between South and North Korean women indicates that nutrition support for North Korean women is essential in the process of preparation for a unified nation.

Keyword

unified Korea; child-bearing aged women; KNHANS; DPRK National Nutrition Survey; health status

MeSH Terms

Anemia
Arm
Democratic People's Republic of Korea*
Eating
Eggs
Female
Fruit
Humans
Meat
Nutrition Surveys
Nutritional Status
Ovum
Prevalence
Protein-Energy Malnutrition
Republic of Korea
Strikes, Employee
Vegetables
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