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Korean J Community Nutr. 2010 Apr;15(2):227-239. Korean. Original Article.
Chang HS .
Department of Food and Nutrition, Gunsan National University, Gunsan, Korea.

The purpose of this study was to compare weight control behaviour, eating habits and health-related life habits according to the obesity degree by body fat percentage (%Fat) among middle-aged women. The subjects were 170 middle-aged women who lived Gunsan City, and they were assigned to one of the following groups based on their %Fat; normal weight group (18% - < 28%), overweight group (28% - < 33%) and obesity group (over 33%). The height, body weight, %Fat, the circumference of waist and hip of them were measured. Eating habits and health-related life habits were evaluated based on questionnaires. The results were as follows. Their weight, %Fat, body mass index (BMI), relative body weight (RBW), waist, hip, and waist-hip ratio (WHR) were significantly higher in the obesity subjects when compared to the normal and overweight subjects. Self-perception for weight (p < 0.001), desire for weight control (p < 0.01), and reasons of weight control (p < 0.05) were different among three groups. The main skipped meal was breakfast (67.9%), reasons of skipping meals were different among three groups (p < 0.05), and main reasons were "lose one's appetite" and "have not enough time". Food habits score for each food was not significantly different among three groups, but eating the meal on thinking with food combination in normal group was higher than overweight and obesity group (p < 0.01). Correlation coefficients of food habits score and anthropometric measurements were that salty of food was negative and food habits scores were positive correlation for anthropometric measurements and obesity index (p < 0.05 - p < 0.001). Frequency of exercise and fitting exercise for body were different among three groups (p < 0.05). Obesity group was lower frequency of exercise than the other groups. Regular diet was positive correlation with food combination (p < 0.01), taking fish (p < 0.05), taking vegetables (p < 0.01), taking bean products (p < 0.01) and food habits score (p < 0.01), frequency of eating out and snacks were negative correlation with taking fruits and fishes. Therefore, proper nutritional education for middle-aged women in obesity group is recommended regular diet, good food habits and exercise. The middle-aged women must decrease the frequency of eating out, snack and the salty foods, and increase the fruits and vegetables. They must have healthy life styles for exercise, smoking, and drinking.

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