Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.50(6) > 1081535

J Nutr Health. 2017 Dec;50(6):603-614. Korean.
Published online December 31, 2017.
© 2017 The Korean Nutrition Society
Health and nutritional status of Korean adults according to age and household food security: Using the data from 2010~2012 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Geun Ah Park,1 Sung Hee Kim,1 Seok Joong Kim,2 and Yoon Jung Yang2
1Department of Clinical Nutrition, Graduate School of Public Health, Dongduk Women's University, Seoul 02748, Korea.
2Department of Food and Nutrition, School of Natural Science, Dongduk Women's University, Seoul 02748, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-940-4465, Email:
Received July 14, 2017; Revised August 02, 2017; Accepted October 17, 2017.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study was performed to identify the health and nutritional status of Korean adults according to food security by age group.


The subjects were 20~79 year old adults (n = 16,595) who participated in the fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2010~2012). Subjects were divided into three groups based on food security such as secure, mildly insecure, and moderately/severely insecure groups. Dietary intake was estimated by 24-hour dietary recall. As for mental health status, the data on mental stress, sleep hours, depression symptoms, and suicide ideation were used.


Korean adults who were exposed to high food insecurity typically had low income levels, lived alone, and were recipients of basic welfare. In the 20~39y group, people with higher food insecurity had lower concentrations of hemoglobin and higher iron-binding capacity. In the 40~59y group, people with higher food insecurity had lower HDL-cholesterol. In the 60~79y group, people with higher food insecurity had higher total cholesterol levels, more stress, more experiences of depression symptoms, and were more suicidal. Mean intakes of energy, protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, carotene, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, and vitamin C were lower in the food insecure groups. Amounts of vegetables, fruits, and seasoning intakes tended to be lower in people with higher food insecurity. The effects of food security on nutrition intake were greater in the 40~59y and 60~79y groups than the 20–39y group.


Food insecurity was related to certain health indicators such as anemia and cholesterol levels and affected mental health. The effects of food insecurity on health and nutritional status were different by age group.

Keywords: food security; nutritional status; health status


Table 1
Socio-demographic characteristics of the subjects
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Table 2
Biochemical measurement of the subjects according to the food security status
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Table 3
Mental health of the male subjects according to the food security status
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Table 4
Mental health of the female subjects according to the food security status
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Table 5
Nutrient intake according to the food security status1) (unit : /1,000 kcal)
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Table 6
Food consumptions according to the food security status1)
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