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Ann Epidemiol. 2004 Aug;14(7):486-91.

Gender differences in familial aggregation of obesity-related phenotypes and dietary intake patterns in Korean families.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



To investigate familial influences on obesity-related phenotypes and dietary intake patterns, and to examine gender differences in Korean families with adolescent children.


A cross-sectional observational study was conducted on 134 biologically related families composed of 260 parents and 231 adolescent children aged 11 to 19 years. Anthropometric measurements, including total fatness and fat distribution, were measured. Dietary intake was assessed by the semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).


The odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals for overweight were 6.6 (range, 1.5-29.7) in the sons and 13.7 (range, 2.5-76.4) in the daughters of overweight parents. Obesity and fat distribution in the adolescents were more significantly correlated with mothers than fathers. Daughters had more significant familial aggregations with their parents than did sons. The dietary intake patterns of both sons and daughters correlated more strongly with their mothers than their fathers. We observed significant correlations in anthropometric variables and dietary intake patterns between spouses and between siblings.


In the contemporary Korean nuclear family, maternal anthropometry and dietary behavior have a greater impact on children than do paternal contributions, and daughters resemble their parents more than sons. Genetics and environmental factors within the family infrastructure may provide strategies for the prevention and treatment of adolescent obesity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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