Effects of obesity and obesity-induced stress on depressive symptoms in Korean elementary school children.

The International journal of social psychiatry

PubMedID: 19553362

Park CM, Kim MD, Hong SC, Kim Y, Hyun MY, Kwak YS, Lee CI, Park MJ, Jang YH, Moon JH, Seok EM, Song YJ, Hyeon Ju Kim . Effects of obesity and obesity-induced stress on depressive symptoms in Korean elementary school children. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2009;55(4):322-35.
BACKGROUND
Obesity is becoming prevalent in Korean children. Because body image is becoming increasingly important, it is likely that obesity-induced stress has a significant effect on childhood depression.

AIMS
To examine the correlation between obesity-induced stress and depressive symptoms in Korean elementary school students.

METHODS
The study participants were 2,305 elementary school children and their parents in the districts of Jeju-si, Seogwipo-si, Namjeju-gun and Bukjeju-gun on Jeju Island, Korea, who completed questionnaires involving demographic information, an obesity-induced stress scale and the Korean form of Kovacs' Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) from September to December 2006.

RESULTS
After controlling for significant independent variables that are wellknown correlates of depressive symptoms in children (e.g. age, gender, residence, family monthly income, obesity status of both parents, family history of chronic illness, and time spent with mother), obesity-induced stress had an odds ratio of 1.128 (95% CI 1.111-1.146).

CONCLUSIONS
Reducing the prevalence of depressive symptoms in elementary school children in Jeju Island will require special attention, particularly the development of coping strategies to resolve obesity-induced stress in various areas including school, family and society.