Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



Korean J Obes 2014; 23(4): 281-288

Published online December 30, 2014

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Psychological Characteristics of Obese Adult Participants in the Weight Management Program

Hana Kim1, Sung Nim Han2.3.*

1Department of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, Ajou Univeristy, Suwon; 2Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul; 3Human Ecology Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

Received: January 22, 2014; Reviewed : February 10, 2014; Accepted: April 15, 2014

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.

Background: Psychological aspect is an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration in a weight management program for it to be successful and effective. This paper studies the psychological characteristics of the obese people. Methods: Forty two obese adults (body mass index 28.4 kg/m2, mean age of 29.4 years) and 23 normal weight adults (body mass index 21.5 kg/m2, mean age of 26.4 years) were studied. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Symptom Checklist (SCL)-90-R were used to measure depression and anxiety, and to evaluate psychological problems. Self-esteem, body shape satisfaction, and self-efficacy were assessed as variables for the psychological aspects of quality of life. Results: The obese group had higher scores for obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, paranoid ideation, and psychotic dimensions compared with the normal weight group. The obese group had lower self-esteem and lower body shape satisfaction than the normal weight group, however, obese group’s self efficacy was higher than the normal weight group. Conclusion: This study shows that the obese subjects have lower self-respect and lower body shape satisfaction. Therefore, efforts should be made to ease their anxiety regarding their body weight. Care and consideration for their feelings of inferiority should be exerted when weight management program is implemented. In addition, encouragement for self-control and self-determination is recommended.

Keywords: Obesity, Psychological factor, Body shape satisfaction, Self-esteem, Self efficacy

General characteristics of obese and normal weight subjects

Serum lipid concentrations and fasting blood glucose level of obese and normal weight subjects

Abnormal psychological variables (or mental health index) of obese and normal weight subjects

General psychological variables of obese and normal weight subjects

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