Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



J Korean Soc Study Obes 2001; 10(4): 376-391

Published online December 31, 2001

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

The Prevalence of Eating Disorder Risk Group Among High School Students in Seoul - Relationship of Eating Disorder Symptoms with Anxiety and Depression Tendency -

Seon Yeong Lee M.D.,Seong Won Kim M.D.,Jae Heon Kang M.D. Ph.D.

Department of Family Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, College of Medicine, Inje University.


Background: Although there is no generally accepted criterion for subclinical eating disorders, various studies implemented in other countries have reported high prevalence rates of subclinical eating disorders among adolescent girls and young women. We investigated the prevalence of eating disorder risk group (EDRG) and its relationship with anxiety and depression tendency among adolescents in Seoul.
Methods: In June 1997, 900 students were sampled from 18 high schools in Seoul by multi-stage cluster sampling and assessed with self-completing questionnaires. We used the Korean version of Eating Attitude test (EAT-26) to screen eating disorder risk group, Korean version of the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) to screen depression tendency, and Korean version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC) to screen anxiety tendency.
Results: The response rate was 97% (total 873), and numbers of girls were 442 (50.6%). Average age was 15.8±0.33 years, and average body-mass index was 21.2±3.3 kg/m2 in boys, 20.3±2.5 kg/m2 in girls (P<0.0001). While only 15.4% of boys wanted to be thinner, 42.7% of girls wanted (P<0.0001). And while 27.8% of boys have tried weight controls, 67.1% of girls have tried it (P<0.0001). Mean score of EAT-26 was higher in girls (11.52±6.94) than boys (6.34±5.14) (P<0.0001). The prevalence of EDRG was 2.8% in boys, 12.2% in girls (P<0.0001). Mean CDI and STAIC scores were significantly higher in eating disorder risk group than in normal group in both sex.
Conclusion: Eating disorder symptomatology was highly prevalent among 15-year-old Korean school girls in Seoul. And this symptomatology has a close relationship with anxiety and depression tendency.

Keywords: Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26), Eating disorder, Eating disorder risk group, Prevalence, Depression, Anxiety, Adolescent