Association Between Obesity and Metabolic Co-Morbidities Among Children and Adolescents in South Korea Based on National Data

BMC Public Health. 2014 Mar 25;14:279. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-279.


Background: Childhood obesity has become a serious public health threat worldwide due to its many short- and long-term adverse health effects. We assessed the association between weight status and metabolic co-morbidities among South Korean children using nationally representative data.

Methods: Data from the 2007-2008 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys for 1,526 children aged 10-19 years were used. Logistic regression models were fit to examine the association between weight status [overweight, 85th percentile≤BMI<95th percentile; obese, BMI≥95th percentile; and central obesity, waist circumference≥90th percentile, based on 2007 Korean National Growth Charts] and metabolic outcomes.

Results: More obese children had metabolic co-morbidities than normal-weight children (P<0.05). Boys had higher means BMI than girls, WC, and BP, while girls had higher means of total blood cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol (P<0.05). Attributable risk of metabolic syndrome was high due to overweight and obesity: 91.1% for central obesity and 29.6% for high TG. Obese children had increased risk of having high BP (adjusted odds ratio (OR): 1.90; 95% CI: 1.05-3.45), dyslipidemia (OR: 6.21; 95% CI: 3.59-10.75), high TG (OR: 6.87; 95% CI: 4.05-11.64), low HDL (OR: 4.46; 95% CI: 2.23-8.89), and ≥2 co-morbidities (OR: 26.97; 95% CI: 14.95-48.65) compared to normal-weight subjects, while the associations between weight status and metabolic outcomes were stronger in boys.

Conclusions: Obesity was strongly associated with metabolic co-morbidities in South Korean children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / blood
  • Obesity, Abdominal / complications
  • Overweight
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult


  • Lipids