The objective of this study was to discuss the residential difference in gender and age specific prevalence of obesity by body mass index (BMI) and obesity related health behaviors in the Republic of Korea. A total of nationally representative 2,583 men and 3,087 women (age: 20-64 yr) was used as subjects from 1998 National Health and Nutrition Survey. All statistics were calculated using SUDAAN to consider a stratified multistage probability sampling design. The prevalence of obesity (BMI≥25) was significantly different by age, gender and residential areas. Although younger men aged 20-49 yr did not show a residential difference in the prevalence of obesity, men aged 50-64 yr showed differences, highest in big cities and lowest in rural areas. However, in women, a higher prevalence was observed in rural areas compared to urban areas in the younger age group (20-49 yr), but not in the older age group. Residential differences of obesity related health behaviors existed mostly in the older population, but not in the younger population. The urban-rural differences demonstrate the various stages of behavioral transition that Korea is currently undergoing. Therefore, different strategies considering those factors are needed to manage obesity problems in Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes