Average Korean Now Overweight

The average Korean adult has grown from normal to overweight over the past decade, with the average weight for Korean men increasing by 2.6 kg and for Korean women by 1.6 kg.

A research team from Chungnam National University's College of Medicine and the National Health Insurance Corporation studied changes in weight by conducting a total of six surveys of 5,420 adults who had health checkups between 1997 and 2007. It found the average weight of men increased from 66 kg in 1997 to 68.6 kg in 2007, while women went from 54.9 kg in 1997 to 56.5 kg.

The body mass index for men also rose from 22.9 in 1997 to 23.9 in 2007, while the BMI for women increased from 22.3 to 23 during the same period. In BMI classification -- underweight, standard weight (18.5-22.9), overweight (23-24.9), obesity, and excessive obesity, both Korean men and women now come under the overweight category.

Bae Nam-kyu, a division chief at the NHIC and primary author of a thesis based on the survey, urged the government to formulate policies to counter the trend.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 27, 2009 10:33 KST