Korean J Obes.  2016 Mar;25(1):31-40. 10.7570/kjo.2016.25.1.31.

The Impact of Physical Education on Obesity Prevention: Analysis of Research Trends and Meta-analysis

  • 1Department of Physical Education, College of Sport Science, Korea National Sport University, Seoul, Korea. mrphysics@knsu.ac.kr


The previous obesity research studies suggested that it is necessary to analyze effect size of physical education on obesity prevention. The purpose of the present study was to investigate research trends on the impact of physical education on childhood and adolescent obesity.
Initially, 295 studies were collected from research databases. The collected studies highlighted the relationship between physical education and obesity for various age groups. Finally, 39 studies were selected for an analysis of research trends based on the screening steps designed for the present study.
The results showed that research studies conducted in Korea had limited ranges of researcher majors, scale of participants, and duration of research compared to research studies in foreign countries. These results indicate that inter-discipline research activity and longitudinal study are not yet popular in Korea. The results of the meta-analysis show no significant change in variables related to obesity including body composition and medical conditions. Although individual studies reported a statistically significant change in participant conditions after physical education, the analysis of combined data shows that the effects of physical education on obesity were not meaningful.
The present study suggests that it is necessary to design more practical physical education programs based on the theoretical background of contents and teaching strategies in order to improve the practicality of physical education programs for preventing and reversing obesity.


Physical activity; Exercise; Physical education; Obesity

MeSH Terms

Body Composition
Longitudinal Studies
Mass Screening
Motor Activity
Pediatric Obesity
Physical Education and Training*
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