Eating habits, obesity related behaviors, and effects of Danhak exercise in elderly Koreans

Ae Wha Ha, Jong Hyun Kim, Dong Joo Shin, Dal Woong Choi, Soo Jin Park, Nam E. Kang, Young Soon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aims of this study were to evaluate obesity-related dietary behaviors and to determine long-term exercise effects on obesity and blood lipid profiles in elderly Korean subjects. A total of 120 subjects, aged 60-75 yr, were recruited, and obesity-related dietary behaviors were determined. An exercise intervention was conducted with 35 qualified elderly females for 6 months, and body composition and blood lipids were measured 6 times at 4 week intervals. At baseline, mean BMI (kg/m2) was 24.8 for males and 23.1 for females. The females had better eating habits than the males and were more concerned with reading nutrition labels on food products (P < 0.001); they also preferred convenience foods less than the male subjects (P < 0.05). Obese individuals were more likely than overweight or normal weight individuals to misperceive their weight (P < 0.001). Those with a high BMI responded feeling more depressed (P < 0.01), lacking self-confidence (P < 0.01), and feeling isolated (P < 0.01), as well as having more difficulty doing outdoor activities (P < 0.01). After exercise, body fat (%) and WHR were significantly reduced (P < 0.05), while body weight and BMI were also decreased without statistical significance. Total cholesterol and blood HDL were significantly improved (207.1 mg/dl vs. 182.6 mg/dl, HDL: 45.6 mg/dl vs. 50.6 mg/dl, P < 0.05). Other benefits obtained from exercise were improvements in self-confidence (26.4%), movement (22.6%), stress-relief (18.9%), and depression (13.2%). In conclusion, elderly females had better eating habits and were more concerned with nutrition information and healthy diets compared to elderly males. However, misperceptions of weight and obesity-related stress tended to be very high in females who were overweight and obese, which can be a barrier to maintain normal weight. Long-term Danhak practice, a traditional Korean exercise, was effective at reducing body fat (%) and abdominal obesity, and improved lipid profiles, self-confidence, and stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition Research and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2010 The Korean Nutrition Society and the Korean Society of Community Nutrition.


  • Blood lipid profiles
  • Eating habits
  • Elderly
  • Exercise
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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