Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



J Korean Soc Study Obes 1998; 7(2): 142-156

Published online June 30, 1998

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Factors Influencing Weight Control Intention of Obese Adolescents

Yunju Kang, Kinam Jin1, Hyeree Lee

Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Department of Health Administration, Yonsei University College of Health Science1


This study was undertaken to explain weight control intention and its influencing factors in obese adolescents as measured by the elements of the health belief model. A total of 732 obese students from 28 schools in the Seoul metropolitan area and their mothers were assessed with a self-administered questionnaire.
The analyzed results are as follows;
1. Intentions of self-directed exercise and enrollment in exercise programs showed the highest scores both in obese adolescents and their mothers, more so in female adolescents than male. Female adolescents showed a higher level of intention toward obesity control with increasing age, but a reverse trend was observed in the mothers of female adolescents. Male adolescents and their mothers showed the highest scores at the age of middle school students. Intention to attend a school-based program and visit an obesity clinic showed the highest scores in primary school adolescents and middle school adolescents, respectively.
2. In obese adolescents, intention toward weight control increased as the degree of weight dissatisfaction and obesity index increased. In mothers of obese adolescents, intention was observed to increase as the degree of weight dissatisfaction and obesity index of their children increased, as their age and their children's age decreased and as their educational level increased. Mothers of female adolescents than males tended to have a greater intention toward weight control.
3. In male adolescents, obesity related beliefs of students were the most significant determinants of their intention, but, with increasing age, the significance of the degree of weight dissatisfaction increased. The intention of the mothers did not significantly influence the intentions of the male adolescents in all age groups.
4. In female adolescents, perceived net benefit rather than perceived threat was the most important determinant of their intention and with increasing age, the significance of external cues increased. The intention of the mothers significantly influenced the intentions of the female high school adolescents.
In summary, the intention toward weight control of obese adolescents showed different trends and characteristics according to age and sex. Appropriate consideration will be necessary to assure the effectiveness and popularity of the obesity control program for obese adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent obesity, Health belief model, Behavioral intention, Obesity control program