The Relationship between BMI, Weight Perception and Depression-like Symptoms in Korean Middle School Students

우리나라 중학생의 체질량지수 및 주관적 체형인식과 우울감 경험의 관련성

  • Byeon, Haewon (Dept. of Speech Language Pathology & Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology Center, Nambu University)
  • 변해원 (남부대학교 언어치료청각학과, 남부대학교 언어치료센터)
  • Received : 2013.08.16
  • Accepted : 2013.12.05
  • Published : 2013.12.31


The aim of this study was to determine the association between the Body Mass Index (BMI), weight perception and depression-like symptoms in Korean middle school students. The data was obtained from the 2012 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey. The subjects were 37,297 students living in the community. Adjusting for covariates (sex, school year, home economics, city-type, school record, self-reported happiness, self-reported health status, suicidal thinking, smoking, alcohol consumption), the self-reported obesity (OR=1.14, 95% CI: 1.06-1.22) and self-reported underweight (OR=1.11, 95% CI: 1.03-1.20), compared to the self-reported healthy weight, were more likely to have depression-like symptoms. On the other hand, the BMI-based weight was not associated independently with depression-like symptoms. These findings suggest that weight perception is significantly associated with depression-like symptoms.


Adolescent;Body Mass Index;Depression;Risk factor;Weight Perception


  1. Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., Flegal, K. M., "Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010", Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 307, No. 54, pp. 483-490, 2012. DOI:
  2. Yach, D., Stuckler, D., Brownell, K. D., "Epidemiologic and economic consequences of the global epidemics of obesity and diabetes", Nat Med, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 62-66. 2006. DOI:
  3. Ministry of Health and Welfare., "Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey 2012", Seoul: Ministry of Health and Welfare. 2010.
  4. Imamura, H., Izawa, A., Kai, R., Yokoseki, O., Uchikawa, S., Yazaki, Y., et al., "Trends over the last 20 years in the clinical background of young Japanese patients with coronary artery disease", Circ J, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 186-191, 2004. DOI:
  5. Freedman, D. S., Zuguo, M., Srinivasan, SR., Berenson, GS., Dietz, W. H., "Cardiovascular risk factors and excess adiposity among overweight children and adolescents: the Bogalusa Heart Study", Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 150, No. 1, pp. 12-17. 2007. DOI:
  6. Luppino, F. S., de Wit, L. M., Bouvy, P. F., Stijnen, T., Cuijpers, P., Penninx, B. W., Zitman, F. G., "Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies", Arch Gen Psychiatry, Vol. 67, No. 3, pp. 220-229. 2010. DOI:
  7. Roberts, R. E., Deleger, S., Strawbridge, W. J., Kaplan, G. A., "Prospective association between obesity and depression: evidence from the Alameda County Study", Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 514-521. 2003. DOI:
  8. Ladwig, K. H., Marten-Mittag, B., Löwel, H., Doring, A., Koenig, W., "Influence of depressive mood on the association of CRP and obesity in 3205 middle aged healthy men", Brain Behav Immun, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 268-275, 2003. DOI:
  9. Pi-Sunyer, X., "The medical risks of obesity", Postgrad Med, Vol. 121, No. 6, pp. 21-33, 2009. DOI:
  10. Smolak, L., "Body image in children and adolescents: where do we go from here?", Body Image, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 15-28, 2004. DOI:
  11. Al Mamun, A., Cramb, S., McDermott, B. M., O'Callaghan, M., Najman, J. M., Williams, G. M., "Adolescents' perceived weight associated with depression in young adulthood: a longitudinal study", Obesity. Vol. 15, No. 12, 3097-3105, 2007. DOI:
  12. Atlantis, E., Ball, K.. "Association between weight perception and psychological distress", Int J Obes, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 715-21, 2008. DOI:
  13. Perrin, E. M., Boone-Heinonen, J., Field, A. E., Coyne-Beasley, T., Gordon-Larsen, P., "Perception of overweight and self-esteem during adolescence", Int J Eat Disord, Vol. 43, No. 5, pp. 447-454. 2010.
  14. Onyike, C. U., Crum, R. M., Lee, H. B., Lyketsos, C. G., Eaton, W. W.m "Is obesity associated with major depression? Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey", Am J Epidemiol. Vol. 158, No. 12, pp. 1139-1147, 2003. DOI:
  15. Hayes, D., Ross, C. E., "Body and mind: the effect of exercise, overweight, and physical health on psychological well-being", J Health Soc Behav, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 387-400. 1986. DOI:
  16. Friedman, M. A., Brownell, K. D., "Psychological correlates of obesity: moving to the next research generation", Psychol Bull, Vol. 117, pp. 3-20. 1995. DOI:
  17. Xie, B., Chou, C. P., Spruijt-Metz, D., Reynolds, K., Clark, F., Palmer, P. H. et al., "Weight perception, academic performance, and psychological factors in Chinese adolescents", Am J Health Behav, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 115-124. 2006 DOI:
  18. Xie, B., Liu, C., Chou, C. P., Xia, J., Spruijt-Metz, D., Gong, J., et al., "Weight perception and psychological factors in Chinese adolescents", J Adolesc Health. Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 202-210, 2003. DOI:
  19. Lee, S. H., Kim, J. I., Kim, K. S., Ryu, S. Y., Park, M. J., Lee, E. A., "The association between the Depression and the Perception of Obesity by Adolescent Girls", Endocrinology and metabolism, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 295-307, 1997.
  20. Hyun, M. H., You, J. M., Lee, S. H., "The effects of obesity, body image dissatisfaction, and binge eating on depression in middle school girls", The Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 3, 565-580, 2002.
  21. Nam, S. J., Park, J. H., "Depression and stress related to obesity among normal, obese, and severe obese groups", Korean Journal of Human Ecology, Vol. 21, No. 6, pp. 1199-1210, 2012. DOI:
  22. Park, E., "Overestimation and underestimation: adolescents' weight perception in comparison to BMI-based weight status and how it varies across socio-demographic factors", J Sch Health, Vol. 81, No. 2, pp. 57-64, 2011. DOI:
  23. Park, H., Noh, J., Bae, S., Choi., M., Ko, D., Park, J., "Factors related to depression in Korean middle school adolescents", The Journal of the Korean Society of School Health, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 19-28, 2010.

Cited by

  1. The Effects of Mental Health on Obesity among Korean Adolescents vol.12, pp.10, 2014,