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Prevalence of distorted body image in young Koreans and its association with age, sex, body weight status, and disordered eating behaviors

Authors Hong S, Jung Y, Kim M, Lee C, Hyun M, Bahk W, Yoon B, Lee KH

Received 9 February 2015

Accepted for publication 4 March 2015

Published 9 April 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 1043—1049


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Seong-Chul Hong,1 Young-Eun Jung,2 Moon-Doo Kim,2 Chang-In Lee,2 Mi-Yeul Hyun,3 Won-Myong Bahk,4 Bo-Hyun Yoon,5 Kwang Heun Lee6

1Department of Preventive Medicine, 2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, 3College of Nursing, Jeju National University, Jeju, Republic of Korea; 4Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 5Department of Psychiatry, Naju National Hospital, Naju, Republic of Korea; 6Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Gyeongju, Republic of Korea

Purpose: To define the prevalence of distorted body image in 10–24-year-old Koreans and determine its relationship with sex, age, body weight status, and disordered eating behaviors.
Methods: A total of 3,227 young Koreans were recruited from elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as from universities. The participants completed a self-reported questionnaire on body image, eating behaviors (Eating Attitude Test-26), and body weight status.
Results: The prevalence of a distorted body image in males was 49.7% and that in females was 51.2%. Distorted body image was more frequent in adolescents (age, 10–17 years) than in young adults (age, 18–24 years). The highest prevalence (55.3%) was reported in female elementary school students (age, 10–12 years). Distorted body image was associated with disordered eating behaviors and abnormal body weight status.
Conclusion: These results suggest that distorted body image is a public health problem, given its high frequency in young Koreans, and that it is associated with abnormal body weight status and disordered eating behaviors.

Keywords: distorted body image, weight status, disordered eating behaviors, young Koreans, Eating Attitude Test, BMI

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