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Korean J Obes. 2010 Dec;19(4):137-147. Korean. Original Article.
Rhee YS , Han IY .
Chosun University Division of Public Administration and Social Welfare, Korea.
Ewha Womans University Graduate School of Social Welfare, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Even though obese population is growing and women's obesity is especially becoming a serious problem, not enough research have given attention to the individual's psychosocial factors which may play a crucial role in women's obesity. Therefore, this study investigates the obesity related factors in adult females by analyzing the relation between risk factors, such as physical activity, health maintenance factors, quality of life, psychological and social factors with the degree of obesity. METHODS: A cross-sectional design was used with an exploratory survey method through self-report questionnaires. Adult women who previously visited the health care center for consultation on obesity were included. A total of 313 female participants were recruited from hospitals and community health care centers in three different cities in Korea. Data on obesity related factors, including physical activity and health maintainemce factor, demographic factor, quality of life, psychological factor, social factor and obesity were collected by self-reported questionnaires. Data were analyzed using SPSS 14.0 for windows. RESULTS: Mean BMI score of participants was 25.71 (SD: 3.19) and 57.7% were overweight according to the criteria (BMI > 25 kg/m2). The more obese the participants were, there was a greater tendency of history of maternal obesity, tendency to blame their own eating habits and lack of exercise, experience physical symptoms, go on frequent diets, and take antihypertensive medications compared to the non overweight group (P < 0.05). Also, overweight women had misperceptions of their own body image, had lower QOL, and experienced higher social physique anxiety compared to non overweight group (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: These results show the need for understanding the psychological aspects of obesity in women. Education and counseling programs that target the psychological risk factors are necessary for managing obesity in women.

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