Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.18(1) > 1038416

Lee and Sun: The study of Perception in Body Somatotype and Dietary Behaviors - The Comparative Study between Korean and Chinese College Students -


This study aimed to analyze about the perception in obesity and body somatotype of university students in Korea and in China. This study provides the basic data of nutrition education for university student healthy weight program in China. The subjects were selected 240 university students of Korea and China. Two types of qualitative and quantitative questionnaires were used to analyze the attitude and body somatotype of subjects. The results of this study were as follows: The average BMI of Korean and Chinese male students was 22.3 and 22.5, respectively while the average BMI of Korean and Chinese female students was 19.8 and 19.7, respectively. In the past three years, the weight gain of Chinese students was higher than that of Korean students. Chinese students preferred the overweight body somatotype more compared to the Korean students. The overweight and obese students had more obvious insufficiency in body somatotype perception. The overweight and obese students had higher tendency to 'eat more meat', 'drink carbonated beverages', 'eat convenience food', 'take fast food' and 'drink alcohol' than the normal and low weight group. The major reasons for Korean students to control weight were 'appearance' and 'self confidence', while the major reasons for Chinese students were 'health' and 'employment'. From the results of associative group analysis (AGA), Chinese students had different semantic value of 'obese' than Korean students. Considering of the food transition status in China, it may be necessary to develop more suitable education programs for weight control for Chinese university students.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1
Semantograph of the theme "Obesity".
Table 1
General characteristics of subjects

1) p-value by χ2-test

2) N (%)

Table 2
Anthropometric index of subjects

1) p-value by t-test

2) Mean ± SD

3) BMI (Body Mass index) = Weight (kg) / Height (m)2

Table 3
The 3-years weight changing amount of Korean and Chinese university students

1) p-value by t-test

2) Mean ± SD (N)

Table 4
Obesity and over-weight rate of Korean and Chinese student by BMI

1) BMI classification: under weight (UW)(BMI < 18.5), normal (18.5 ≤ BMI < 23), over weigt (OW) (23 ≤ BMI < 25), obesity (25 ≤ BMI)

2) p-value by χ2-test

3) N (%)

Table 5
The perception in body somatotype by sex

1) p-value by χ2-test

2) I: under weight somatotype, II: normal somatotype, III: over weight somatotype, IV: obese spmatotype

3) N (%)

Table 6
The perception in body somatotype by BMI

1) U: under weight, N: normal, OV: over weight, OB: obese.

2) K: Korean, C: Chinese

3) p-value by χ2-test

4) I: under weight somatotype, II: normal somatotype, III: over weight somatotype, IV: obese somatotype

5) N (%)

Table 7
Frequencies of dietary behaviors between Korean and Chinese students

1) p-value by χ2-test, 2) Always : 3 - 4 / week, usaually : 1 - 2 / week, seldom : less than 1 / week, 3) N (%)

Table 8
Experience of negative feelings after eating

1) p-value by χ2-test

2) Always : 3 - 4 / week, usaually : 1 - 2 / week, seldom : less than 1 / week

3) N (%)

Table 9
Attitude toward weight control and needs of nutrition education

1) p-value by χ2-test

2) I: Practical phase, II: Preparing phase, III: Concerning phase, IV: Unconcerning phase

3) N (%)


This work was supported by the Gachon University research fund of 2012 (GCU-2012-R297).


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