Korean J Nutr.  2010 Dec;43(6):607-619. 10.4163/kjn.2010.43.6.607.

The Concepts of Weight Control and Dietary Behavior in High School Seniors

  • 1Department of Nutrition Services, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul 135-720, Korea.
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Sangji University, Wonju 220-702, Korea. hy1317@sangji.ac.kr


The purpose of this study was to identify the concepts of body image, weight control and food behavior in 520 Korean high school seniors from Seoul and Gyeonggi Province. A questionnaire survey was conducted to investigate body image, concern of weight control, experience of weight control, the first time to try weight control, plan for weight control, reasons of weight control and food behaviors related with weight control. Anthropometric parameters such as weight and height were measured. Finally, data from 497 high school seniors were used for statistical analysis. The results were as follows. Many subjects had misperceptions. Among the subjects who perceived themselves as 'fat', 57.8% were normal weight and 0.5% underweight. Among the subjects who perceived themselves as 'thin', 59.5% were normal weight, 0.9% overweight and 0.9% obese. Girls were more concerned about weight control than boys (4.20 vs. 3.66). Weight loss had been experienced by 61.5% of the subjects and weight gain by 12.8%. First weight control was attempted by 71.3% of the subject at high school and by 28.7% at middle school. The majority of subjects planned for weight control before their freshman year. The boys choose 'health' as the primary reason for weight control, whereas the girls chose 'good appearance'. The total score of food behaviors varied significantly according to BMI. Overweight and obese subjects had more desirable food behaviors than normal weight and underweight subjects (24.00, 24.06 vs. 21.92, 21.52). However, total scores of food behaviors showed no variation according to sex, weight control attempt and body image. In conclusion, the high school seniors had misconceptions about body image and weight control. They were exposed to a high risk of inappropriate weight control and food behaviors. Therefore, proper nutritional education programs need to be developed for high school seniors to prevent nutrition problems related to weight control and to maintain desirable food behaviors.


high school seniors; body image; weight control; food behavior
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