A Rice-Based Traditional Dietary Pattern Is Associated with Obesity in Korean Adults



      Dietary patterns are critical in the prevention of chronic disease. The relationship between specific dietary patterns and obesity has not been evaluated in a Korean adult population.


      This study examined whether specific dietary patterns are associated with obesity using survey data of the largest, nationally representative, general Korean population.


      The cross-sectional study was comprised of 10,089 Korean adults (19 years or older) who participated in the second and third Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted in 2001 and 2005, respectively. Dietary data were assessed by 24-hour recall method. Obesity was defined as body mass index (calculated as kg/m2) ≥25, which is the cutoff point for adults in the Asian and Pacific regions.


      Four dietary patterns were derived using factor analysis (white rice and kimchi pattern; high-fat, sweets, and coffee pattern; meat and alcohol pattern; and grains, vegetables, and fish pattern). Each dietary pattern explained 8.6%, 6.7%, 5.7%, and 5.7% of the variation in food intake, respectively. The white rice and kimchi pattern (P for trend=0.0039) and the high-fat, sweets, and coffee pattern (P for trend=0.0054) were positively associated with obesity after adjustments for age, sex, energy intake, alcohol intake, smoking status, physical activity, and chronic diseases. No significant association was found among the meat and alcohol pattern; the grains, vegetables, and fish pattern; and obesity.


      Specific dietary patterns, which include the white rice and kimchi and high-fat, sweets, and coffee patterns, may be independently associated with obesity in Korean adults.
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      J. Kim is a professor, Department of Food and Nutrition, Daegu University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk, South Korea


      I. Jo is a professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Ewha Womans University Medical School, Seoul, South Korea


      H. Joung is a professor, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea