BACKGROUND: Obesity is known to increase the risk of chronic renal disease. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the correlation between BMI, abdominal obesity by waist circumference criteria and eGFR in healthy Korean adults. Data was based on the National health and nutrition conducted survey in 2007. METHODS: A total 1996 (884 men, 1,112 women) participants were enrolled in the study. Questionnaires and medical examination were conducted. The participants were free of and any chronic kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, or stroke. Female subjects were not menstruating or pregnant. eGFR was calculated by using the original MDRD equation. RESULTS: Statistical analysis was respectively performed on BMI or waist circumference by multiple linear analysis (R > 0.8). According to the multiple linear regression model, eGFR showed independent correlation with age, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and abdominal obesity or BMI (P < 0.05). When Asian-Pacific criteria of abdominal obesity (WC > or = 80 cm) was applied to the female subjects, abdominal obesity failed to show any significant correlation (P = 0.148). In contrast, abdominal obesity showed independent correlation with eGFR (P = 0.31) when the criteria suggested by the Korean Society for the Study of Obesity (WC > or = 85 cm) was applied. CONCLUSION: BMI and abdominal obesity are independently related to eGFR. In women particularly, Asia-Pacific criteria for abdominal obesity had no significant association with eGFR. Whereas the abdominal obesity criteria suggested by the Korean society for the study of obesity was closely associated with eGFR. This may serve as evidence for reexamining the criteria of abdominal obesity.