Nutr Res Pract.  2007 Dec;1(4):313-320.

Comparison of major dish item and food group consumption between normal and obese Korean children: application to development of a brief food frequency questionnaire for obesity-related eating behaviors

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Sungshin Women's University, Seoul 136-742, Korea.


This study sought to compare intake levels of major dish items and food groups between normal and obese Korean children in order to understand obesity-related eating behaviors. The study was also conducted to apply the information on the differences in major dish items and food groups found in this study to development of a brief food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for children's obesity-related eating behaviors. Finally, the developed FFQ was evaluated for reliability. A total of 290, 24-hour dietary recall data from 9-11 year-old normal or obese participants in the 2001 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) were reviewed to identify dish items and food groups showing outstanding differences between the normal and obese groups. Based on the level of intake amount between the two groups, a total of 7 items, including ddeokbokggi, spaghetti, ham roast, pork cutlet, dairy products & ices, kimchi, and fruits, were selected to be included in the FFQ. The former 5 items were seen to be consumed more in the obese group, while the latter 2 items were so in the normal group. The questionnaire was formatted into a frequency response section of a seven-category option and reference period of the last 7 days. Test-retest reliability of the developed FFQ was examined by administering it to 153, 9-11 year-old children at a public elementary school in Seoul twice at a month interval. The level of reliability was found to be reasonably high. In conclusion, this study suggests that high consumption of several high-calorie dish items and low consumption of kimchi and fruits may be important eating behaviors in relation to obesity risk among 9-11 year-old children who need nutrition educators' attention. The current study also implies that a simple FFQ can be utilized to reliably assess 9-11 year-old children's diets.


Children; obesity; eating behaviors; FFQ
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