Journal List > J Korean Med Assoc > v.53(2) > 1042240

Chu and Choe: Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome among Children and Adolescents in Korea


Obesity is a disease that decreases life span. Childhood obesity leads to the higher prevalence of obesity in adulthood, which increases the risk of metabolic syndrome. Recently, the prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome is rapidly increasing among children and adolescents in Korea. The percentage of affected individuals was 17.9% among 10 to 14 year-old boys at its highest or 9.7% (boys 11.3%, girls 8.0%) on average, according to KNHANES III (The Third Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005) and 2005 Korean children and adolescents' growth standard program, respectively. The incidence of metabolic syndrome was 30 to 40% in obese children and adolescents in Korea. Intervention program to prevent and reduce childhood obesity on a national scale is required.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
Co-morbidities observed during childhood and adolescence(28)

Adopted and modified from Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th

Table 2
WHO definition of the metabolic syndrome(48, 49).
Table 3
The IDF definition of the at risk group and metabolic syndrome in children and adeloscents (Diagnosing the metabolic syndrome requires the presence of central obesity plus any two of the other four factors.)

*For clinical purposes, but not for diagnosing the metabolic syndrome, if fasting plasma glucose 5.6~6.9 mmol/L (100~125 mg/dL) and not known to have diabetes, an oral glucose tolerance test should be performed.


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Byung-Ho Choe

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