Korean J Community Nutr.  2019 Aug;24(4):331-342. 10.5720/kjcn.2019.24.4.331.

Children's Food Intake and Nutrition Levels, and Obesity by Maternal Employment: Based on the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2013–2015

  • 1Seongnam Center for Children's Foodservice Management, Seongnam, Korea, Planning and Operation Team leader.
  • 2Department of food and Nutrition, Shingu College, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Korea, Professor.
  • 3Nutrition Education Major, Graduate School of Education, Gachon University, Seongnam, Korea, professor. shkye@gachon.ac.kr


This study examines the intake of food and nutrients of children according to the employment and working hours of their mothers.
The married women in the source data from the 6th National Health and Nutrition Survey were classified into full-time working mothers, part-time working mothers and housewives according to the working type and the data on their children from 3 to 18 years old were analyzed using SAS 9.4.
The group from 3 to 5 years old was the smallest group with 682 children (20.2%), followed by the group from 6 to 11 years with 1,345 children (39.8%) and the group from 12 to 18 years old with 1,355 children (40.1%). The lowest rates for having no breakfast and dinner were observed in the group with housewives (p<0.05). The calcium and phosphorous intakes were the highest in the group with housewives at 61.9% and 126.8%, respectively, and the lowest in the group with full-time working mothers at 54.7% and 115.3%, respectively (p<0.05). The group with full-time working mothers had the highest rate in the calcium and iron intake less than the dietary reference intake at 74.9% and 30.0%, respectively. It indicated that the group with full-time working mothers did not have sufficient nutrients as compared to the other two groups. Moreover, the group with the part-time working mothers showed the high vitamin A intake ratio of 41.4% (p<0.05).
This study found evidence of a negative association between mother's employment status and children's diet quality. The employment and economic activity of married women will continuously increase in the future. Therefore, a national nutrition policy is required to provide quality nutrition care for children in the households.


National Health and Nutrition Survey; working mothers; children; nutritional status

MeSH Terms

Family Characteristics
Nutrition Policy
Nutrition Surveys*
Nutritional Status
Recommended Dietary Allowances
Vitamin A
Vitamin A


1. Statistics Korea. Ministry of gender equality and family [Internet]. Statistics Korea;2018. cited 2019 May 29. Available from: http://kostat.go.kr.
2. Song YJ. Changes in parental time spent with children. Korea J Popul Stud. 2011; 34(2):45–64.
3. Statistics Korea. e-Country index [internet]. 2016. updated 2016 Dec 14. cited 2019 May 29. Available from: http://www.index.go.kr/potal/main/EachDtlPageDetail.do?idx_cd=3027.
4. Oh SH, Hyun WJ, Lee HM, Park HR, Lim HJ, Song KH. A study on the stress and the dietary habits of elementary school children by mother's employment status. Korean J Community Nutr. 2010; 15(4):498–506.
5. Lee YG, Lee MS, Lee MJ, Kim JH, Jung HY, Park EJ, et al. Nutrition through the life cycle. 4th ed. Paju: Yangseowon;2015. p. 199. p. 219. p. 285.
6. Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Korea national health & nutrition examination survey. 5th ed (2013–2015). Daejeon: Minisrty of Health and Welfare;2018.
7. Chung SJ, Lee YN, Kwon SJ. Factors associated with breakfast skipping in elementary school children in Korea. Korean J Community Nutr. 2004; 9(1):3–11.
8. Crepinsek MK, Burstein NR. Maternal employment and children's nutrition. 1st ed. Abt Associates Inc;2004.
9. Johnson RK, Smiciklas-Wright H, Crouter AC. Effect of maternal employment on the quality of young children's diets: The CSFII experience. J Am Diet Assoc. 1992; 92(2):213–214.
10. Johnson RK, Smiciklas-Wright H, Crouter AC, Willits FK. Maternal employment and the quality of young children's diets: Empirical evidence based on the 1987–1988 nationwide food consumption survey. Pediatrics. 1992; 90(2):245–249.
11. Horton S, Campbell C. Wife's employment, food expenditures, and apparent nutrient intake: evidence from Canada. Am J Agric Econ. 1991; 73(3):784–794.
12. Anderson PM, Butcher KF, Levine PB. Maternal employment and overweight children. J Health Econ. 2003; 22(3):477–504.
13. Gillespie AH, Achterberg CL. Comparison of family interaction patterns related to food and nutrition. J Am Diet Assoc. 1989; 89(4):509–512.
14. Lee JW. A comparative study on the nutritional status of the families with working housewives and with non-working ones: Analysis of 2001 Korea national health and nutrition survey data. Korean J Community Nutr. 2008; 13(5):610–619.
15. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2007 Korean national growth chart [Internet]. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;2007. cited 2019 May 29. Available from: http://cdc.go.kr.
16. Min HJ. The life course events and the career interruption among Korean women. Korea J Popul Stud. 2011; 34(1):53–72.
17. Lee SG. The study of the employment structure and the employment stability of career interrupted women. J Women's Stud. 2017; 20(1):75–100.
18. Statistics Korea. e-Country index [internet]. 2017. updated 2017 Nov 15. cited 2019 May 29. Available from: http://www.index.go.kr/unify/idx-info.do?idxCd=4033.
19. Yang SJ. Women's job. Natl Econ. 2005; 16(9):19–22.
20. Kwon HK. Factors related to the desire of married, “career-interrupted” women to be re-employed. J Korean Home Manag Assoc. 2010; 28(1):87–98.
22. Kim NJ. Analysis on career-interrupted womens rentry to labor market and maintaining the reemployment. Korean J Ind Relat. 2016; 26(2):1–27.
23. Koo MS, Hong SU. Married women's return to the workforce: findings from the participants in a reemployment training program. J Korean Home Manag Assoc. 2005; 23(3):153–167.
24. Kim MH. A study on the actual status of the children's eating behavior by household income level and mother's employment status [Master's thesis]. Sungshin Women's University;2008.
25. Yang HK, Chang UJ, Kim YO, Kim JM, Bae YJ, Kim MJ. A study on preschool-children obesity and physical fitness according to mother's occupational status. Proceedings of 10th Anniversary International Symposium of Korean Community Nutrition Society. 2005; 10. 08. 72. Seoul.
26. Lee SW, Sung CJ, Kin AJ, Kim MH. A study on nutritional attitude, food behavior and nutritional status according to nutrition knowledge of Korean middle school students. Korean J Community Nutr. 2000; 5(3):419–431.
27. Jung EH. Smoking status and dietary habits of middle school students. Korean J Community Nutr. 2002; 7(1):14–22.
28. Jung EH. The effect of working mother's on the dietary behavior of middle and high school students. Korean J Community Living Sci. 2004; 15(4):79–88.
29. Hwang EY. Comparative study of knowledge of nutrition, dietary habit, dietary behaviors, and food preference for middle school students in West Gyeong Nam [Master's thesis]. Silla University;2007.
30. Woo LJ, Kim SY. Eating behaviors by breakfast frequency of high school students in Yongin area. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr. 2015; 44(1):66–75.
31. The Korean Nutrition Society. 2015 KDRIs. 8th revision. Seoul: The Korean Nutrition Society;2015.
32. Bae YJ. Evaluation of nutrient intake and meal variety with breakfast eating in Korean adolescents: analysis of data from the 2008~2009 national health and nutrition survey. Korean J Community Nutr. 2013; 18(3):257–268.
33. Yeoh YJ, Yoon J, Shim JE. Relation of breakfast intake to diet quality in Korean school-aged children: analysis of the data from the 2001 national health and nutrition survey. Korean J Community Nutr. 2009; 14(1):1–11.
34. Wang SG. Prevalence of obesity, food habits, and daily nutrient intakes of 4th grade elementary school students in Daejeon. Korean J Human Ecol. 2007; 16(3):631–642.
35. Son Y, Kim HJ. A study on the eating habits, nutrition and dietary fiber intakes of teenagers in Gyeong-nam areas. Korean Home Econ Educ Assoc. 2005; 17(4):1–26.
36. Lee JS, Lee MH, Kwon TB, Ju JS. A study on the concentration of serum lipids and its related factors of persons over 40 years old in Whachon area, Kang-Won Do. Korean J Nutr. 1996; 29(9):1035–1041.
37. Lee JY, Lee SY. A comparative study on nutrition knowledge, eating behavior and nutrient intake for students at elementary schools with and without nutrition education program. J East Asian Soc Diet Life. 2004; 14(6):561–567.
38. Kim JH. A study on nutritional status and serum lipid levels according to obese index of apartment complex in Seoul [master's thesis]. Seoul National University;1993.
39. Shin EK, Lee JH, Lee YK, Lee HS. Effect of short-term nutrition education camp on food and nutrient intakes of obese children. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr. 2005; 34(7):987–999.
40. Shim JE, Paik HY, Moon HK. Breakfast consumption pattern, diet quality and health outcomes in adults from 2001 national health and nutrition survey. J Nutr Health. 2007; 40(5):451–462.
41. Kim SH, Kim MH, Choi MK, Kim MH. Nutritional knowledge and dietary behavior of middle school students according to their mother's employment status. J Korean Soc Food Cult. 2018; 33(3):236–242.
42. Han JS, Kim JH. Calcium intake and cognition on calcium of adolescents in Busan area. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr. 2002; 31(6):1026–1034.
43. Cho EA, Lee SK, Heo GJ. Snack consumption behaviors and nutrition knowledge among elementary school students in Siheung-si. Korean J Community Nutr. 2010; 15(2):169–179.
44. Kim SA, Lee BH. Relationships between the nutrient intake status, dietary habits, academic stress and academic achievement in the elementary school children in Bucheon-si. Korean J Nutr. 2008; 41(8):786–796.
45. Kim YJ, Choi YJ, Kim HS. Factors related to calceneal broadband ultrasound attenuation, anthropometric indexes and nutrient intakes among elementary school children in Chungnam. Korean J Community Nutr. 2013; 18(4):312–323.
46. Choi MK, Kim MH, Lee YS, Cho HK, Kim KH, Lee BB. Relation between obesity indices and, nutritional knowledge, nutritional status and blood parameters in obese middle - school students. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr. 2005; 34(2):181–189.
47. Han JS, Kim JH. Calcium intake and cognition on calcium of adolescents in Busan area. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr. 2002; 31(6):1026–1034.
48. Kim SD, Yun ES, Chang MS, Park YA, Jung SO, Kim DG. Survey of daily caffeine intakes from children's beverage consumption and the effectiveness of nutrition education. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr. 2009; 38(6):709–720.
49. Jung SY. Effects of maternal employment on adolescents' overweight and obesity. J Korean Soc Child Welf. 2013; 41:39–66.
50. Lee YS, Lim HS, Jang NS, An HS, Kim CI, Kim GN, et al. Nutrition through the life cycle. 4th ed. Paju: Kyomunsa;2017. p. 195–233.
Full Text Links
  • KJCN
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr