SEOUL, July 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Young Korean women aged 19 to 24 are light-weighted with the false notion that a slimmer body looks more attractive. They are doing excessive diet, fasting meals more often with less physical activities, a survey said.
According to the survey released from the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) on July 29, based on the body mass index (BMI), 17.5 percent of women in their age between 19 to 25 were under 18.5, which is considered ‘underweight.’ The age group showed its high underweight rate than the other age groups of 25 to 44 (8.5%), 45 to 64 (2.0%) and over 65 (3.0%). The BMI, an indicator of how much body fat one has, is calculated by dividing weight by height squared and then multiplying the figure by 703.
The World Health Organization categorizes BMIs less than 18.5 as ‘underweight,’ 18.5-23 as ‘normal,’ 23-25 as ‘lightly overweight,’ 25-30 as ‘overweight,’ and over 30 as ‘obese.’
Besides, only 19.7 percent of the age group between 19 to 24 did exercises regularly and only 12.6 percent of them were doing workouts, according to the survey based on the national health and nutrition statistics between 2007 and 2009.
Especially, the age group skipped meals more frequently. Some 60 percent of the age group regularly skipped breakfast. Even they went without lunch (17.6%) and dinner (18.4%), higher than the rates of the other age groups’ 6.4 to 9.8 percent.
The research team analyzed that a distorted body image and excessive diet, not economic reasons, drove young Korean women underweight.
They said, “Being underweight is harmful not only for young women’s health and for their babies when they get pregnant. The society needs to offer policy support to the underweight not only to the overweight and to change the de facto social preference to a slimmer body in the long run.”
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)