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Diabetes Metab J. 2011 Dec;35(6):561-6. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2011.35.6.561. Epub 2011 Dec 26.

Obesity and metabolic syndrome in Korea.

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Center for Obesity, Nutrition, and Metabolism, Department of Family Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.


In Korea, a person with a body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m(2) is considered obese, and a person with a BMI ≥30 kg/m(2) is classified as severely obese. Central obesity is defined as a waist circumference ≥90 cm for Korean men and ≥85 cm for Korean women. Recent epidemiologic data show that the prevalence of severe obesity and metabolic syndrome is steadily increasing. These epidemics increased morbidity and mortality of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity-related cancers such as breast, colorectal, and other cancers in Korea. Decreased physical activity, increased fat and alcohol consumption, heavy smoking, and stress/depressed mood are the primary modifiable life-style risk factors for Koreans. Recently, public health interventions to encourage life-style changes have shown promising results in reducing the prevalence of severe obesity and metabolic syndrome.


Cut-point; Definition; Intervention; Lifestyle; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Prevalence; Risk factor

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