Nutr Res Pract.  2012 Aug;6(4):334-339.

Comparative study on body shape satisfaction and body weight control between Korean and Chinese female high school students

  • 1Dana Hall School, 45 Dana Road, Wellesley, MA 02482-9010, USA.
  • 2Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Joongbu University, Majon-ri, Chubu-myun, Gumsan-gun, Chungnam 312-702, Korea.


This study was conducted to compare body shape satisfaction, body image perception, weight control status, and dietary habits of Korean and Chinese female high school students in order to provide information for proper body image perception of adolescents. 221 students in Yongin, a city in Korea, and 227 students in Weihai, a city in China, were surveyed using questionnaires. Body shape satisfaction was significantly higher in Chinese students (P < 0.001) compared to Korean students. 76.2% of Korean students and 72.7% of Chinese students wanted a thinner body shape than their present body shapes. Experiences of weight control, laxative or diuretics uses, eating during weight control, and vomiting after eating were significantly higher in Korean students (P < 0.05-P < 0.001) compared to Chinese students. The score for dietary habits was significantly higher in Chinese students (P < 0.001) compared to Korean students, suggesting a more desirable dietary habit among Chinese students. Students of both countries showed a significantly positive correlation between body shape satisfaction and dietary habits, suggesting that as body shape satisfaction increases, dietary habits become more desirable. In conclusion, Korean female students showed a more distorted body image perception and had more poor dietary habits than Chinese students. Nutritional education for the establishment of normal body weight, proper body image perception, and healthy dietary habits are needed.


Body image; weight control behavior; female high school students; Korea; China

MeSH Terms

Asian Continental Ancestry Group
Body Image
Body Weight
Food Habits
Ideal Body Weight
Surveys and Questionnaires
Weight Perception


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