• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Trends over time
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Economic impact
  • Policies
  • Contextual factors
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Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2019

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Yang YS, Han B, Han K, Jung J, Son JW, TTOTOFSOTKSFTSOO. Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2021: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Obesity-Related Comorbidity Incidence Stratified by Age from 2009 to 2019. JOMES 2022;31:169-177. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes22024
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database (covers 97% of the population). The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity was standardized by age and sex based on the 2010 population and housing census.
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Nam, Ga Eun, et al. “Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2019: Prevalence of Obesity and Abdominal Obesity from 2009 to 2018 and Social Factors.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 2, 30 June 2020, pp. 124–132, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338491/, 10.7570/jomes20058. Accessed 12 Oct. 2021.
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:19+
Sample size:6126
Area covered:National
References:Lee J, Sa J. Regional disparities in healthy eating and nutritional status in South Korea: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017. Nutr Res Pract. 2020 Dec;14(6):679-690. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2020.14.6.679. Epub 2020 Oct 7. PMID: 33282128; PMCID: PMC7683206.
Definitions:World Health Organization criteria for Asians are used: 1) underweight (BMI < 18.5), 2) normal weight (18.5 ≤ BMI < 23.0), 3) overweight (23.0 ≤ BMI < 25.0), and 4) obese (BMI ≥ 25.0) [17].
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Yang YS, Han B, Han K, Jung J, Son JW, TTOTOFSOTKSFTSOO. Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2021: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Obesity-Related Comorbidity Incidence Stratified by Age from 2009 to 2019. JOMES 2022;31:169-177. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes22024
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database (covers 97% of the population). The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity was standardized by age and sex based on the 2010 population and housing census.
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Yang YS, Han B, Han K, Jung J, Son JW, TTOTOFSOTKSFTSOO. Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2021: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Obesity-Related Comorbidity Incidence Stratified by Age from 2009 to 2019. JOMES 2022;31:169-177. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes22024
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database (covers 97% of the population). The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity was standardized by age and sex based on the 2010 population and housing census.
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-102
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2013-2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:25-64
Sample size:3315
Area covered:National
References:Kim YJ, Lee JS, Park J, et al. 'Trends in socioeconomic inequalities in five major risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the Korean population: a cross-sectional study using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001–2014' BMJ Open 2017;7:e014070. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014070
Notes:In paper Obesity was defined as a BMI of ≥25kg/m2, according to the criteria of Asia-Pacific region. These % relate to the BMI definitions below Overweight BMI=>25 kg/m2
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Yang YS, Han B, Han K, Jung J, Son JW, TTOTOFSOTKSFTSOO. Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2021: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Obesity-Related Comorbidity Incidence Stratified by Age from 2009 to 2019. JOMES 2022;31:169-177. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes22024
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database (covers 97% of the population). The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity was standardized by age and sex based on the 2010 population and housing census.
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Yang YS, Han B, Han K, Jung J, Son JW, TTOTOFSOTKSFTSOO. Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2021: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Obesity-Related Comorbidity Incidence Stratified by Age from 2009 to 2019. JOMES 2022;31:169-177. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes22024
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database (covers 97% of the population). The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity was standardized by age and sex based on the 2010 population and housing census.
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-102
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2009

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Yang YS, Han B, Han K, Jung J, Son JW, TTOTOFSOTKSFTSOO. Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2021: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Obesity-Related Comorbidity Incidence Stratified by Age from 2009 to 2019. JOMES 2022;31:169-177. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes22024
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database (covers 97% of the population). The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity was standardized by age and sex based on the 2010 population and housing census.
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-102
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2007-2009

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Sample size:17126
Area covered:National
References:Kang HT, Shim JY, Lee HR et al. Trends in Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Korean Adults, 1998-2009: The Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J Epidemilogy 2014;24(2):109-116
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2005

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-102
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2001

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-102
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1998

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-79
Sample size:8816
Area covered:National
References:Soon Paek H, Sook Yun Y, Yuul Park J, Seol Kim Y and Myung Choi J, (2003). Obesity, abdominal obesity, and clustering of cardiovascular risk factors in South Korea. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 12 (4): 411 - 418.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 1998

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-102
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:6-18
Sample size:80,460
Area covered:National
References:Kim JH, Moon JS. Secular Trends in Pediatric Overweight and Obesity in Korea. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020;29(1):12-17. doi:10.7570/jomes20002
Definitions:The NSHE data was analyzed using the 2007 growth charts, which defined overweight as BMI ≥85th percentile and <95th percentile for the corresponding sex and age, and obesity was defined as BMI ≥95th percentile for the corresponding sex and age or BMI ≥25 kg/m2
Cutoffs:Other

Children, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:2-18
Sample size:1441
Area covered:National
References:Kim JH, Moon JS. Secular Trends in Pediatric Overweight and Obesity in Korea. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020;29(1):12-17. doi:10.7570/jomes20002
Definitions:BMI status was defined by sex- and age-specific percentiles: normal (BMI<85th percentile), overweight (85th percentile≤BMI<95th percentile), and obesity (BMI≥95th percentile). Height, weight, and BMI were converted to z scores by using the 2017 Korean National Growth Charts.
Cutoffs:Other

Children, 2016-2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-18
Sample size:1256
Area covered:National
References:Lee JH. Prevalence of hyperuricemia and its association with metabolic syndrome and cardiometabolic risk factors in Korean children and adolescents: analysis based on the 2016-2017 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Korean J Pediatr. 2019;62(8):317-323. doi:10.3345/kjp.2019.00444
Definitions:BMI status was defined by sex- and age-specific percentiles: normal (BMI<85th percentile), overweight (85th percentile≤BMI<95th percentile), and obesity (BMI≥95th percentile). Height, weight, and BMI were converted to z scores by using the 2017 Korean National Growth Charts.
Cutoffs:Other

Children, 2013-2016

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-17
Sample size:2685
Area covered:National
References:Heo S, Kwon S, Lee YM, Shin JY, Lee DH. Comparison of Trends in Blood Pressure and the Prevalence of Obesity Among Korean and American Adolescents: A 12-Years Cross-sectional Study. J Prev Med Public Health. 2020;53(1):45–55. doi:10.3961/jpmph.19.198
Notes:NB. Combined child data estimated. These estimates were calculated by weighting male and female survey results. Weighting based on World Bank Population % total female (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL.FE.ZS - accessed 20.11.20)
Cutoffs:Other

Children, 2010-2012

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-19
Sample size:5418
Area covered:National
References:Bahk J, Khang YH. Trends in Measures of Childhood Obesity in Korea From 1998 to 2012. J Epidemiology Vol. 26 (2016) No. 4 P 199-207
Notes:IOTF cut off (other cut offs available)
Cutoffs:IOTF

Children, 2003-2003

Survey type:Measured
Age:7-17
Sample size:1083
Area covered:Sub National
References:Matsushita Y, Yoshiike N, Kaneda F, Yoshita K and Takimoto H. (2004). Trends in childhood obesity in Lee K, Lee S, Kim SY, Kim SJ and Kim YJ. (2007). Percent body fat cutoff values for classifying overweight and obesity recommended by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) in Korean children. Asia Pac Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 16(4): 649 - 655.
Notes:IOTF Cut off. Reference: Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH. Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: International survey. BMJ. 2000 May 6;320(7244):1240-3.
Cutoffs:IOTF

Overweight/obesity by education

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Nam, Ga Eun, et al. “Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2019: Prevalence of Obesity and Abdominal Obesity from 2009 to 2018 and Social Factors.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 2, 30 June 2020, pp. 124–132, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338491/, 10.7570/jomes20058. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.
Definitions:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Nam, Ga Eun, et al. “Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2019: Prevalence of Obesity and Abdominal Obesity from 2009 to 2018 and Social Factors.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 2, 30 June 2020, pp. 124–132, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338491/, 10.7570/jomes20058. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.
Definitions:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Nam, Ga Eun, et al. “Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2019: Prevalence of Obesity and Abdominal Obesity from 2009 to 2018 and Social Factors.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 2, 30 June 2020, pp. 124–132, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338491/, 10.7570/jomes20058. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.
Definitions:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by age

Adults, 2019

Survey type:Measured
Area covered:National
References:Yang YS, Han B, Han K, Jung J, Son JW, TTOTOFSOTKSFTSOO. Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2021: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Obesity-Related Comorbidity Incidence Stratified by Age from 2009 to 2019. JOMES 2022;31:169-177. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes22024
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database (covers 97% of the population). The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity was standardized by age and sex based on the 2010 population and housing census.
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Area covered:National
References:Nam, Ga Eun, et al. “Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2019: Prevalence of Obesity and Abdominal Obesity from 2009 to 2018 and Social Factors.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 2, 30 June 2020, pp. 124–132, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338491/, 10.7570/jomes20058. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:6155
Area covered:National
References:Kim et al. (2014). Prevalence, Awareness, and Management of Obesity in Korea: Data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1998–2011). Diabetes Metab J 2014;38:35-43.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2009

Survey type:Measured
Area covered:National
References:Yang YS, Han B, Han K, Jung J, Son JW, TTOTOFSOTKSFTSOO. Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2021: Trends in Obesity Prevalence and Obesity-Related Comorbidity Incidence Stratified by Age from 2009 to 2019. JOMES 2022;31:169-177. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes22024
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database (covers 97% of the population). The prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity was standardized by age and sex based on the 2010 population and housing census.
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2007-2009

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:17126
Area covered:National
References:Kang HT, Shim JY, Lee HR et al. Trends in Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Korean Adults, 1998-2009: The Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J Epidemilogy 2014;24(2):109-116
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Area covered:National
References:Kim, Jae Hyun, and Jin Soo Moon. “Secular Trends in Pediatric Overweight and Obesity in Korea.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 1, 30 Mar. 2020, pp. 12–17, 10.7570/jomes20002. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.
Notes:Data from the National School Health Examination 2017
Cutoffs:WHO

Overweight/obesity by region

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:19+
Sample size:6126
Area covered:National
References:Lee J, Sa J. Regional disparities in healthy eating and nutritional status in South Korea: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017. Nutr Res Pract. 2020 Dec;14(6):679-690. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2020.14.6.679. Epub 2020 Oct 7. PMID: 33282128; PMCID: PMC7683206.
Definitions:World Health Organization criteria for Asians are used: 1) underweight (BMI < 18.5), 2) normal weight (18.5 ≤ BMI < 23.0), 3) overweight (23.0 ≤ BMI < 25.0), and 4) obese (BMI ≥ 25.0) [17].
Cutoffs:WHO Asia
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by socio-economic group

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Nam, Ga Eun, et al. “Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2019: Prevalence of Obesity and Abdominal Obesity from 2009 to 2018 and Social Factors.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 2, 30 June 2020, pp. 124–132, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338491/, 10.7570/jomes20058. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Nam, Ga Eun, et al. “Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2019: Prevalence of Obesity and Abdominal Obesity from 2009 to 2018 and Social Factors.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 2, 30 June 2020, pp. 124–132, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338491/, 10.7570/jomes20058. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:20+
Area covered:National
References:Nam, Ga Eun, et al. “Obesity Fact Sheet in Korea, 2019: Prevalence of Obesity and Abdominal Obesity from 2009 to 2018 and Social Factors.” Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, vol. 29, no. 2, 30 June 2020, pp. 124–132, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338491/, 10.7570/jomes20058. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.
Notes:Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service health checkup database.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2013-2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-64
Sample size:7707
Area covered:National
References:Lee JY, Lee YR, Kim RH, Myong JP, Kang MY. Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015. Saf Health Work. 2020 Mar;11(1):97-102. doi: 10.1016/j.shaw.2019.08.003. Epub 2019 Sep 3.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2013-2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-64
Sample size:7707
Area covered:National
References:Lee JY, Lee YR, Kim RH, Myong JP, Kang MY. Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015. Saf Health Work. 2020 Mar;11(1):97-102. doi: 10.1016/j.shaw.2019.08.003. Epub 2019 Sep 3.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2011

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2008

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2005

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2005

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 2001

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2001

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Men, 1998

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 1998

Survey type:Measured
Age:19-65
References:Jae Yong Lee, Yi-Ryoung Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim, Jun-Pyo Myong, Mo-Yeol Kang,Trends in Obesity Prevalence by Occupation Based on Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey From 1998 to 2015, Safety and Health at Work Vol 11 (1);2020:97-103
Notes:2007-9 (marked as 2008), 2010-2012 (marked as 2011), 2013-15 (marked as 2014)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Insufficient physical activity

Adults, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Men, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Women, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Children, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Boys, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Girls, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Children, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Boys, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Girls, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Estimated per capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2021

Age:20-79
Area covered:National
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation.  IDF Diabetes Atlas, 10th edn. Brussels, Belgium:International Diabetes Federation, 2021. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Age-adjusted comparative prevalence of diabetes, %

Adults, 2019

Age:20-79
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 9th edn. Brussels,Belgium: 2019. Available at: https://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Adults, 2017

References:Reproduced with kind permission of IDF, International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Economic impact of overweight and obesity

Country comparisons

You can choose to compare this country’s data with the data for up to four other countries.

Policies, Interventions and Actions

2020 Korean Society for the Study of Obesity Guidelines for the Management of Obesity in Korea

The 2020 Korean Society for the Study of Obesity Guideline for the Management of Obesity in Korea summarizes evidence-based recommendations and treatment guidelines.

Categories:Evidence of Management/treatment guidelines
Year(s):2020 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:Korean Society for the Study of Obesity
Find out more:www.jomes.org
References:Kim BY, Kang SM, Kang JH, Kang SY, Kim KK, Kim KB, Kim B, Kim SJ, Kim YH, Kim JH, Kim JH, Kim EM, Nam GE, Park JY, Son JW, Shin YA, Shin HJ, Oh TJ, Hyug L, Jeon EJ, Chung S, Hong YH, Kim CH; Committee of Clinical Practice Guidelines, Korean Society for the Study of Obesity (KSSO). 2020 Korean Society for the Study of Obesity Guidelines for the Management of Obesity in Korea. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2021 May 28. doi: 10.7570/jomes21022. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34045368.

2018 Korean Society for the Study of Obesity Guideline for the Management of Obesity in Korea

These guidelines focus on guiding clinicians and patients to manage obesity more effectively. The recommendations and treatment algorithms can serve as a guide for the evaluation, prevention, and management of overweight and obesity.

Categories:Evidence of Management/treatment guidelines
Year(s):2018 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:Korean Society for the Study of Obesity
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Seo MH, Lee WY, Kim SS, et al. 2018 Korean Society for the Study of Obesity Guideline for the Management of Obesity in Korea [published correction appears in J Obes Metab Syndr. 2019 Jun;28(2):143]. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2019;28(1):40-45. doi:10.7570/jomes.2019.28.1.40

Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric obesity: recommendations from the Committee on Pediatric Obesity of the Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutritio

The following areas were systematically reviewed, especially on the basis of all available references published in South Korea and worldwide, and new guidelines were established in each area with the strength of recommendations based on the levels of evidence: (1) definition and diagnosis of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents; (2) principles of treatment of pediatric obesity; (3) behavioral interventions for children and adolescents with obesity, including diet, exercise, lifestyle, and mental health; (4) pharmacotherapy; and (5) bariatric surgery.

Categories:Evidence of Management/treatment guidelines
Year(s):2018 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Health Promotion Administryation, Ministry of Health & Welfare
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric obesity: recommendations from the Committee on Pediatric Obesity of the Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition. Clin Exp Pediatr. 2019;62(1):3-21. Published online December 27, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3345/kjp.2018.07360

Comprehensive plan for Obesity Prevention and Control

South Korea's national obesity strategy, including physical activity guidelines

Categories:Evidence of National Obesity Strategy/Policy or Action plan
Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):2018 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Joint ministries
Linked document:Download linked document

NCD Country Profiles 2018 (Obesity Targets)

The profiles also provide data on the key metabolic risk factors, namely raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose and obesity and National Targets on Obesity (as of 2017)

Categories:Evidence of Obesity Target
Year(s):2017 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:World Health Organisation
References:Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2018. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

White Paper, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety

Categories:Labelling Regulation/Guidelines
Year(s):2016 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Food and Drug Safety
Linked document:Download linked document

The Physical Activity Guide for Koreans

Korea's physical activity strategy and guidelines.

Categories:Evidence of Physical Activity Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):2013 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Health and Welfare

The Special Act on the Safety Management of Children’s Dietary Life

The Special Act on the Safety Management of Children’s Dietary Life covers a series of policies to prevent obesity and improve children's diet. Article 10 stipulates that TV advertising to children under 18 years of age is prohibited for specific categories of food before, during and after programmes shown between 5pm–7pm and during other children’s programmes. The restriction also applies to advertising on TV, radio and the internet that includes “gratuitous” incentives to purchase (eg free toys). The Act also sets nutrition standards for food sold on school premises and prevents the sale of sugar drinks and other energy-dense and nutrient-poor foods entirely.

Categories:Evidence of School Food Regulations
Evidence of Marketing Guidelines/Policy
Year(s):2009 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Government
Find out more:elaw.klri.re.kr

General dietary guidelines for Koreans

In 1991, the National dietary guidelines were first published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. In 2002-2003, general and age-based guidelines were announced and revised in 2008-2009. In 2016, the General Dietary Guidelines for Koreans were established as common guidelines of inter-government ministries.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2008 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Health and Welfare
Find out more:www.fao.org
References:https://www.fao.org/nutrition/education/food-dietary-guidelines/regions/countries/republic-of-korea/en/

Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric obesity

Provides an evidence-based systematic approach to childhood obesity in South Korea. Emphasises a family-based, comprehensive, multidisciplinary behavioural intervention which focuses on modifying lifestyle (calorie-controlled balanced diet, active vigorous physical activity and exercise, and reduction of sedentary habits, and support by the entire family, school, and community). Also emphasises the importance of starting early in life.

Categories:Evidence of Management/treatment guidelines
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Pediatric Obesity Committee of the KSPGHAN Guideline Task Force (TF)
Find out more:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Yong et al. 2019 Clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric obesity: recommendations from the Committee on Pediatric Obesity of the Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition. Korean J Pediatr 2019;62(1). pp. 3-21.

Code of Advertising Ethics

The Code states that advertising for children and youth should not express anything that might spoil them physically or morally. It also states that Criteria for concrete activities shall conform to the ICC Advertising Activities Standards"

Categories (partial):Evidence of Marketing Guidelines/Policy
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Korea Federation of Advertising Associations
References:Currently a web link to this code is unavailable. If you are aware of the location of this document/intervention, please contact us at obesity@worldobesity.org

GNPR 2016-17 (q7) Breastfeeeding promotion and/or counselling

WHO Global Nutrition Policy Review 2016-2017 reported the evidence of breastfeeding promotion and/or counselling (q7)

Categories:Evidence of Breastfeeding promotion or related activity
Target age group:Adults
Organisation:Ministry of Health (information provided by the GINA progam)
Find out more:extranet.who.int
References:Information provided with kind permission of WHO Global database on the Implementation of Nutrition Action (GINA): https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en

Special Act on Safety Control of Children's Dietary Life

The South Korean Special Act on Safety Control of Children's Dietary Life recommends colour-coded labelling for use on the front of pre-packaged children's "favourite food" including cookies/candies/popsicles, breads, chocolates, dairy products, sausage (fish or meat based), some beverages, instant noodles and fast food (seaweed rolls, hamburgers, sandwiches). Guidance for the front-of-pack colour-coded labelling was issued by Public Notice (2011), and outlines three permitted designs using green, amber and red to identify whether products contain low, medium or high levels of total sugars, fat, saturated fat, and sodium.

Categories:Labelling Regulation/Guidelines
Target age group:Children
References:https://policydatabase.wcrf.org/level_one?page=nourishing-level-one#step2=0#step3=309

The Foods Labelling Standards & The Labelling Standard for Health Functional Food

In South Korea, a nutrient list must be provided on select categories of pre-packaged food, including cookies/candies/popsicles, breads and dumplings, cocoa products, jams, oils, noodles and pasta, drinks and beverages, and food of special use. The Foods Labelling Standards were first enacted in 1996, and the Labelling Standard for Health Functional Food in 2004; both Standards have been revised several times since then. Based on the 1st Master Plan on Reducing Sugar Intake 2016–20 and the 2016 White Paper by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, further categories will be required to bear nutrient lists with a three-stage implementation between 2017 and 2022 (including cereals, ready-to-eat products and ready-to-cook products in 2017; dressings and sauces in 2018–19; Korean-style boiled grain-/meat-/fish-based food and processed food based on fruit or vegetable purees/pastes in 2020–22).

Categories:Labelling Regulation/Guidelines
Target age group:Adults and children
References:https://policydatabase.wcrf.org/level_one?page=nourishing-level-one#step2=0#step3=327

No actions could be found for the above criteria.

Contextual factors

Disclaimer: These contextual factors should be interpreted with care. Results are updated as regularly as possible and use very specific criteria. The criteria used and full definitions are available for download at the bottom of this page.

Tap on a tick to find out more about policies influencing this factor.

Labelling

Is there mandatory nutrition labelling?Present
Front-of-package labelling?Present-(voluntary)
Back-of-pack nutrition declaration?Present
Color coding?Present-(voluntary)
Warning label?Absent

Regulation and marketing

Are there fiscal policies on unhealthy products?Absent
Tax on unhealthy foods?Absent
Tax on unhealthy drinks?Absent
Are there fiscal policies on healthy products?Absent
Subsidy on fruits?Absent
Subsidy on vegetables?Absent
Subsidy on other healthy products?Absent
Mandatory limit or ban of trans fat (all settings)?Absent
Mandatory limit of trans fats in place (all settings)? Absent
Ban on trans-fats or phos in place (all settings)? Absent
Are there any mandatory policies/marketing restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food/drinks to children?Present
Mandatory restriction on broadcast media?Present
Mandatory restriction on non-broadcast media?Present
Voluntary policies/marketing restrictions on the promotion of unhealthy food/drinks to children?Present
Are there mandatory standards for food in schools?Present
Are there any mandatory nutrient limits in any manufactured food products?Absent
Nutrition standards for public sector procurement?Absent

Political will and support

National obesity strategy or nutrition and physical activity national strategy?Present
National obesity strategy?Present
National childhood obesity strategy?Present
Comprehensive nutrition strategy?Present
Comprehensive physical activity strategy?Present
Evidence-based dietary guidelines and/or RDAs?Present
National target(s) on reducing obesity?Present
Guidelines/policy on obesity treatment?Present
Promotion of breastfeeding?Present

Monitoring and surveillance

Monitoring of the prevalence and incidence for the main obesity-related NCDs and risk factors?Present
Within 5 years?Present

Governance and resource

Multi-sectoral national co-ordination mechanism for obesity or nutrition (including obesity)?Absent

Key

Present
Present (voluntary)
Incoming
Absent
Unknown

Last updated September 13, 2022

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