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Korean J Community Nutr. 2019 Dec;24(6):465-475. Korean. Original Article.
Song S , Song H .
Department of Food and Nutrition, Hannam University, Daejeon, Korea, Assistant Professor. sjsong@hnu.k
Department of Multicultural Education, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea, Graduate student.


This study investigated dietary and lifestyle factors associated with the weight status among Korean adolescents in multicultural families.


This cross-sectional study analyzed 1,751 multicultural families' adolescents who participated in the 2017–2018 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. Information on dietary and lifestyle factors was self-reported using a web-based questionnaire and this information included breakfast and foods consumption, perceived health status, alcohol drinking, smoking, physical activity, and weight control efforts. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated based on the self-reported height and body weight (kg/m²). Weight status was assessed according to the 2017 Korean National Growth Chart: underweight (weight-for-age <5(th) percentiles), overweight (85(th)≤ BMI-for-age <95(th) percentiles), and obese (BMI-for-age ≥95(th) percentiles). Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the dietary and lifestyle factors associated with weight status after adjustment for covariates.


Among Korean adolescents from multicultural families, the prevalence of overweight/obesity was 20.9%, whereas about 7% of adolescents were underweight. The weight status did not show differences according to gender, school level, area of residence, and household income. Compared to adolescents who did not have breakfast during the previous week, those who had breakfast 3–4 days/week and ≥5 days/week had a 42% (p=0.021) and a 37% (p=0.009) lower prevalence of overweight/obesity, respectively. The adolescents who frequently consumed carbonated soft drinks (≥5 times/week) showed an odds ratio (OR) of 1.69 (95% CI=1.01–2.83) for overweight/obesity relative to those adolescents who did not consume carbonated soft drinks. The OR of being underweight for adolescents who ate fast food ≥3 times/week was 1.97 (95% CI=1.04–3.71) compared to those adolescents who had not eaten fast food during the previous week.


Dietary and lifestyle factors were associated with overweight/obesity as well as underweight among Korean adolescents in multicultural families. Our findings could be used to design and provide nutrition interventions for this specific population.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.