Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



Korean J Obes 2006; 15(4): 227-234

Published online October 1, 2006

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

The Relationships between Childhood Depressive Trend and Obesity and Obesity-related Lifestyles in Korean Children

Young Gyu Cho, Kyung Hee Park*†, Jae Heon Kang

Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University; Department of Family Medicine*, Hallym Sacred Heart Hospital, College of Medicine, Hallym University


Background: The association between childhood depression and obesity has been reported. Study results on the relationship between childhood depression and obesity in Korea are not consistent. Study on the associations between childhood depression and obesity-related lifestyles is rare. This study was conducted to assess the relationships between childhood depressive trend and obesity and obesity-related lifestyle in Korean children.
Methods: The study participants were the 4th grade students from three elementary schools in Goonpo City (486 students). The participants were measured for their height and weight etc, and they were also surveyed by questionnaire. We diagnosed the students as depressives when they scored 12 points or above on Children's Depression Inventory (CDI).
Results: Obesity was diagnosed in 47 students (9.7%) and overweight was diagnosed in 79 students (16.3%). The average CDI score was 11.0 ± 6.9 point. Children with depressive mood were more often diagnosed as childhood obesity than children without depressive mood (OR: 2.76). A greater association between tendency for depression and obesity was noted among boys than girls and in children with high household income than children with low household income. Children with depressive mood had a higher frequency of obesity-related lifestyles compared to children without depressive mood.
Conclusion: This study showed that depressive mood during childhood was related to obesity and obesity-related lifestyles. This association was greater among boys than in girls and was also noted among children with a high household income compared to children with a low household income.

Keywords: Childhood obesity, Childhood depression, Lifestyle