Korean J Obes.  2012 Jun;21(2):89-98.

The Relationship between Obesity, Self-esteem and Depressive Symptoms of Adult Women in Korea

  • 1Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nursing, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Korea. gykim@yonsei.ac.kr


S: Obesity and depressive symptoms are increasingly rising as a prevalent public health problem. Previous studies concerning association between obesity and depression have yielded inconsistent results. Thus, this study investigated whether there is any association between obesity and depressive symptoms including self-esteem in Korean adult women.
A questionnaire was administered to 455 adult women in Seoul, Kyung-Gi and Chung-Cheong province. A structured, self-reported questionnaire was used to assess each participant's socioeconomic graphics, health related life styles, self-esteem and depressive symptoms. We used multiple logistic regression analysis to assess the relationships between obesity, self-exteem and depressive symptoms.
The prevalence of obesity and depressive symptoms in the subjects were respectively 23.7% and 21.5%. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjusted for general characteristics, the odds ratios for depressive symptoms were significantly increased in subjects with obesity (P = .009) and decreased in proportion to the increasing levels of self-esteem (P < .001). But the odds ratios for obesity were not significantly increased in subjects with depressive symptoms and low self-esteem.
These results support an association between obesity and depressive symptoms in women. Obese women need help in recovering their self esteem in order to control their depressive mood.


Women; Obesity; Self-esteem; Depressive symptoms
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