The association between eating-out rate and BMI in Korea

Hwi Jun Kim, So Yeon Oh, Dong Woo Choi, Eun Cheol Park

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research suggests that adult men consume larger amounts of calories while eating-out than when eating meals prepared at home. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association between the daily eating-out rate and body mass index (BMI) in the Korean population. The study used data from 18,019 individuals aged ≥19 years who participated in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) from 2013 to 2016. BMI was measured according to the Asia-Pacific BMI measurement criteria. A multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to examine the validity of the association between the eating-out rate and BMI. In this population, women with higher eating-out rates were found to have higher BMIs. Specifically, the risks of becoming obese or overweight increased among those with a 1%–50% (obesity odds ratio (OR) = 1.28, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09–1.51; overweight OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.14–1.64) or 51%–100% daily eating-out rate (obesity OR = 1.51, 95% CI: 1.24–1.84; overweight OR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.20–1.87), relative to those who reported never eating-out. By contrast, no statistically significant association between the daily eating-out rate and BMI was observed among men. Notably, we observed positive associations of the daily eating-out rate with obesity and being overweight in South Korean women, but not men. Our findings suggest that education about proper habits when eating-out is needed to prevent obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3186
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) that conducted the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is the primary source of our study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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