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OECD finds S. Koreans among world's skinniest

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/ Screen capture from OECD
/ Screen capture from OECD

By Eom Da-sol

South Koreans are the second-thinnest people among key developed countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The OECD's annual "Obesity Update 2017" shows the obesity rate of people aged 15 years and over in each of its member or non-member countries. Korea ranked 34th out of 35 member countries with an obesity rate of 5.3 percent, followed by Japan (3.7 percent). The United States still had the highest obesity rate (38.2 percent).

The data, released May 21, defined people as "obese" when their body mass index (BMI) score is higher than 30 while those with a score over 25 are "overweight."

In South Korea, there were more obese men than women. The male obesity rate was 6.1 percent and that of women 4.6 percent.

The data found that education levels influenced the obesity rate of South Korean women more than other countries. South Korean women topped the "education-related inequality in overweight" index with 6.3 in 2014 out of eight countries. This meant that less-educated women are almost six times more likely to be overweight than those with a higher education. Women from Canada recorded 1.1, those from the U.S. 1.3 and Hungarian women 1.6.

The OECD expects South Korea's obesity rate to increase to 6 percent by 2020 and 9 percent by 2030.


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