Comparison of the dietary intake and clinical characteristics of obese and normal weight adults

  • Jeon, Kyeong-Jin (Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, O-Keui (Seoul National University Health Service Center) ;
  • Kim, Hye-Kycong (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, The Catholic University of Korea) ;
  • Han, Sung-Nim (Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2011.01.21
  • Accepted : 2011.03.21
  • Published : 2011.08.31


Obesity contributes to an increased risk for chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer. The prevalence of obesity has increased in Korea. We compared the clinical and dietary characteristics of obese adults (n = 30, 17 men and 13 women, mean age 29.9) to those with a normal weight (n = 15, 8 men and 7 women, mean age 26.5). We determined lipid profiles, fasting blood sugar (FBS), blood pressure, and serum free fatty acid (FFA). Dietary intake was estimated using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and a 3-day dietary record. Exercise patterns and average alcohol intake were determined. The average body mass index was 28.3 kg/$m^2$ in the obese and 21.2 kg/$m^2$ in the normal weight groups. The obese group had significantly higher levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, lower levels of HDL cholesterol, and higher blood pressures compared to the normal weight group. FBS was not significantly different between the two groups. The obese group had significantly more subjects with metabolic syndrome (26.7%) compared to the normal weight group (0%). Serum FFA levels tended to be higher in the obese (P = 0.087). No significant difference in caloric intake was observed between the two groups. No differences in carbohydrate, protein, or fat intake between two groups were observed from the FFQ. However, results from the 3-day dietary record showed that the percentage of energy from fat was significantly higher in the obese group. The frequency and amount of exercise did not differ between the two groups. Alcohol consumed per drinking episode was significantly higher in the obese group. These results confirm that excessive weight is associated with disturbances in lipid metabolism in these fairly young and otherwise healthy adults. Dietary factors, including higher fat intake and alcohol consumption, seem to be contributing to the obesity of these subjects.


Obesity;lipid profile;metabolic syndrome;dietary intake


Supported by : KRF


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