Associations between Physical Activity and Obesity Defined by Waist-To-Height Ratio and Body Mass Index in the Korean Population
Kim, Yeon Soo
This study investigated the associations between physical activity and the prevalence of obesity determined by waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and body mass index (BMI).
This is the first study to our knowledge on physical activity and obesity using a nationally representative sample of South Korean population from The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We categorized individuals into either non-obese or obese defined by WHtR and BMI. Levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were classified as ‘Inactive’, ‘Active’, and ‘Very active’ groups based on the World Health Organization physical activity guidelines. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the associations between physical activity and the prevalence of obesity.
Physical activity was significantly associated with a lower prevalence of obesity using both WHtR and BMI. Compared to inactive men, odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for obesity by WHtR ≥0.50 were 0.69 (0.53–0.89) in active men and 0.76 (0.63–0.91) in very active men (p for trend = 0.007). The ORs (95% CIs) for obesity by BMI ≥25 kg/m2 were 0.78 (0.59–1.03) in active men and 0.82 (0.67–0.99) in very active men (p for trend = 0.060). The ORs (95% CIs) for obesity by BMI ≥30 kg/m2 were 0.40 (0.15–0.98) in active men and 0.90 (0.52–1.56) in very active men (p for trend = 0.978). Compared to inactive women, the ORs (95% CIs) for obesity by WHtR ≥0.50 were 0.94 (0.75–1.18) in active women and 0.84 (0.71–0.998) in very active women (p for trend = 0.046). However, no significant associations were found between physical activity and obesity by BMI in women.
We found more significant associations between physical activity and obesity defined by WHtR than BMI. However, intervention studies are warranted to investigate and compare causal associations between physical activity and different obesity measures in various populations.
This article is published as Lee O, Lee DC, Lee S, Kim YS. Associations between physical activity and obesity defined by waist-to-heigh ratio and body mass index in the Korean population. PLOS ONE. 2016;11(7):e0158245. 10.1371/journal.pone.0158245. Posted with permission.