PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare obesity-related quality of life according to obesity classification by BMI (body mass index) and self-assessment. METHODS: The participants were 286 female college students in J City. Data were obtained by measuring height, weight and BMI, and using a questionnaire for self-assessment of obesity, weight control, and quality of life. The quality of life was measured using 14 items of the Korean version of obesity-related quality of life (KOQOL). RESULTS: Thirty five percent of the students assessed themselves as overweight and obese despite their BMI <23m2/kg(false overweight). True overweight students with BMI > or =23m2/kg who perceived themselves as overweight and obese were 23%. The total KOQOL score between true and false overweight students showed no significant difference. True overweight students had a lower total KOQOL score including psychosocial, physical, daily living, sex related, and food-related domains than true normal weight students. CONCLUSIONS: The quality of life was not different between true and false overweight students. These results indicate that self-assessment about obesity affects the quality of life like as actual BMI in female college students. Therefore, it is necessary to care students who distort themselves as obese.