Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.51(5) > 1106768

J Nutr Health. 2018 Oct;51(5):400-413. Korean.
Published online October 31, 2018.
© 2018 The Korean Nutrition Society
Association between antioxidant vitamin intake and obesity among Korean women: using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007 ~ 2016
Dongwoo Ham,1 Seong-Ah Kim,1 Shinyoung Jun,2 Min-Sook Kang,3 and Hyojee Joung1,4
1Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
2Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
3Food and Nutrition Division, Department of Agro-food Resources, National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Wanju, Jeonbuk 55365, Korea.
4Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-880-2831, Email:
Received September 07, 2018; Revised September 27, 2018; Accepted October 10, 2018.

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 examined the association between the antioxidant vitamin intake and obesity in Korean women.


Adult women aged ≥19 years who completed a health examination and nutrition survey from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2007 ~ 2016 were selected for the study (n = 30,425). A BMI ≥25 kg/m2 and waist circumference ≥85 cm were defined as obesity and abdominal obesity, respectively. The individual antioxidant vitamin intake was estimated by linking the antioxidant vitamin composition database of commonly consumed foods and the subjects' 24-hour recall food consumption data. Carotenoids, retinol, vitamin A (retinol activity equivalent), vitamin C, tocopherols, and vitamin E (α-tocopherol equivalent) were included in the analysis. Each vitamin intake was converted to the nutrient density per 1,000 kcal. Odds ratio (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for obesity according to each tertile of the nutrient density was obtained from multiple logistic regression adjusted for age, household income, education level, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.


The mean intake of α-carotene, retinol, vitamin E, α-tocopherol, and γ-tocopherol per 1,000 kcal was significantly lower in the obese group than in the normal group. A higher intake of lycopene was inversely associated with obesity (highest vs. lowest; OR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.83–0.96) and abdominal obesity (highest vs. lowest; OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.81–0.95). Higher intakes of α-carotene, total carotenoids, vitamin A, and γ-tocopherol also had a negative relationship with abdominal obesity. The antioxidant vitamin intakes from eggs, milk and dairy products, seasoning, and grains were significantly lower in the obese group than in the normal group.


This study showed that the dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins was inversely associated with obesity and abdominal obesity among Korean women. Further study will be needed to examine the causal relationship between the antioxidant vitamin and obesity.

Keywords: antioxidant vitamin; obesity; abdominal obesity; Korean women; KNHANES


Table 1
General characteristics of the study subjects
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Table 2
Daily antioxidant vitamin intake per 1,000 kcal according to obesity status
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Table 3
Odds ratios1) and 95% confidence intervals of obesity according to the tertiles of daily antioxidant vitamin intake per 1,000 kcal
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Table 4
Antioxidant vitamin intakes from each food group according to obesity status by body mass index
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Table 5
Antioxidant vitamin intakes from each food group according to obesity status by waist circumference level
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This work was carried out with the support of ‘Research Program for Agricultural Science and Technology Development’, National Institute of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (Project No. PJ013475022018).

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