Body weight misperception patterns and their association with health-related factors among adolescents in South Korea

Hyunjung Lim, Youfa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective Examined body weight misperception and its association with health-related factors among South Korean adolescents. Design and Methods The 2009 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey data from 72,399 adolescents aged 12-18 years were used. Based on agreements between weight status assessed according to self-reported BMI and self-perceived weight status, adolescents were classified as weight underestimate, accurate, and overestimate. Logistic regression models examined the associations controlling for covariates. Results Over 50% adolescents misclassified their own weight status: underestimation (23.4%) and overestimation (26.8%). Boys had a higher underestimation rate than girls (30.3% vs. 15.6%) and a lower overestimation rate (21.3% vs. 33.0%). In girls, overestimation was higher in high-income families and well-educated parents (41.0%). Compared to those with accurate weight perception, participants who underestimated their weight were more likely to have an unhealthy diet as indicated by higher daily consumption (≥once/day) of fast food [OR = 1.18 (1.00, 1.39)] and unhealthy snacks [OR = 1.11 (1.03, 1.19)]. Girls who overestimated their weight had more screen time [≥2 h/day, OR = 1.12 (1.03, 1.22)]. Participants who overestimated their weight were more likely to be stressed [OR = 1.24 (1.18, 1.31)] and depressed [OR = 1.18 (1.21, 1.25)]. Conclusions Over half of Korean adolescents had misperception on own weight status, the rates varied by gender and socioeconomic status. Weight misperception is associated with health-related outcomes compared to peers with accurate perceptions about own weight status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2596-2603
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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