Korean J Community Nutr.  2018 Oct;23(5):431-443. 10.5720/kjcn.2018.23.5.431.

Comparison of Dietary Behaviors and Blood Clinical Indices in Underweight, Normal Weight, Normal Weight Obese and Obese Female College Students

  • 1Graduate School of Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea, Student.
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea, Professor. jheekim@swu.ac.kr


OBJECTIVES: Normal weight obesity (NWO) is defined as excessive body fat in the context of a normal body mass index (BMI). This condition carries a greater risk of developing noncommunicable chronic disease and has been associated with early inflammation. This study was conducted to compare the anthropometric measurements, eating behaviors, and blood clinical indices among four groups: underweight, normal, normal weight obesity and obesity.
The subjects included 215 female college students. A questionnaire was administered regarding general characteristics, dietary behaviors, food consumption frequency. Anthropometric measurements and blood clinical indices were also investigated.
The average BMI, body fat percentage, waist circumference, fat-free mass, and muscle mass were highest in the obesity group (p < 0.05). Most subjects had tried to lose weight and perceived that their health was worse than before they became college students. The ratio of students in the NWO group who thought their health was very poor was significantly higher than in the other three groups (p < 0.05). The obesity and NWO groups seemed to eat more and their eating speed was significantly faster than the other groups (pv0.001). The consumption frequency of caffeinated beverages was significantly higher in the NWO group than in the other three groups (p < 0.01). WBC was significantly higher in the obesity group (p < 0.05). Serum levels of TG and total cholesterol were also significantly higher in the obesity group (p < 0.05). Serum GPT was significantly higher in the obesity group (p < 0.05) while BUN level was highest in the NWO group (p < 0.05).
The obesity group showed the most health problems while the NWO group seemed relatively healthy. However, NWO can lead to problems such as metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease in later life if poor dietary habits are maintained. Therefore, education in appropriate eating habits is needed for these subjects.


dietary behavior; blood clinical indices; normal weight obesity; female college students
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