Adolescent overweight and obesity: Links to socioeconomic status and fruit and vegetable intakes

Jihyun You, Jina Choo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Whether adolescent overweight/obesity is linked to socioeconomic status (SES) and fruit and vegetable (F/V) intakes has not been confirmed. We aimed to determine whether there is an association between SES and adolescent overweight/obesity and to test the mediating effect of F/V intakes. This cross-sectional study included the data of 63,111 adolescents extracted from the 2013 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey. Overweight/obesity was defined as a body mass index ≥ 85th percentile, while F/V intakes were categorized as high (recommended levels: ≥1 fruit serving and ≥3 vegetable servings per day) versus low. Among girls, low SES (beta = 0.50, p < 0.001) and F/V intakes (beta = −0.17, p = 0.038) were both significantly associated with overweight/obesity; the former association was significantly mediated by F/V intakes (Sobel test: z = 2.00, p = 0.046). Among boys, neither SES nor F/V intakes was significantly associated with overweight/obesity. Adolescent overweight/obesity was significantly linked to low SES and F/V intakes among girls only; low SES indirectly increased the risk of overweight/obesity via low F/V intakes. Therefore, promoting F/V intakes for socially disadvantaged girls should be prioritized as a population-based strategy for preventing adolescent overweight/obesity in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number307
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 9


  • Adolescent
  • Fruit and vegetable intake
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Social class

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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