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J Korean Med Sci. 2012 May;27(5):512-7. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2012.27.5.512. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

Prevalence of dietary supplement use in Korean children and adolescents: insights from Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2009.

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


The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of dietary supplement (DS) use in Korean children and adolescents and to examine the related factors associated with DS use from the 4th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Total 6,131 participants aged between 2 and 18 yr were included in the analysis. We estimated the prevalence of DS use mainly from the DS questionnaire data of the Nutrition Survey. Reported supplements were classified according to the Health Functional Food Code. We also assessed the relationship between DS use and anthropometry, socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, and chronic diseases. Approximately 34% of Korean children and adolescent was taking DS. Younger age (P = 0.003), higher household income (P < 0.001), presence of chronic diseases (P = 0.05), regular meal consumption (P = 0.002), frequent snack consumption (P = 0.001), and normal body mass index rather than overweight (P = 0.10) or obesity (P = 0.03) were associated with the DS use after adjustment for related factors. Vitamin/mineral supplements (343.5/10(3) persons) were the most commonly taken DS in Korean children and adolescents, followed by Omega-3 (28.8), ginseng (18.3), colostrums (14.1) and chlorella/spirulina (10.0). In conclusion, DS use is common as much as in 34% of Korean children and adolescents and is associated with age, household income level, chronic diseases, meal regularity, and obesity status.


Adolescent; Child; Dietary Supplements; Korean

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