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Comparing the nutritional status of children and adolescents from North Korean defector families and South Korean families

Citation

Choi, Seong-Woo et al. (2021), Comparing the nutritional status of children and adolescents from North Korean defector families and South Korean families, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cfxpnvx61

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the nutritional status of children and adolescents from North Korean defector (NKD) families who are currently living in South Korea (SK) and compared with the status of those from SK families.

Design: A cross-sectional study comparing the prevalence of malnutrition, overweight, and obesity between children and adolescents from NKD families and SK families.

Setting: Children and adolescents from NKD families were interviewed face-to-face directly, whereas the data about those from SK families acquired by using 2017 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey(KNHANES). Their nutritional status were estimated using the 2017 Korean National Growth Charts for children and adolescents

Participants: The total number of children and adolescents was 2,136 consisting of 527 subjects from the NKD families and 1,609 subjects from the SK families.

Results: The overall prevalence of stunting, wasting, underweight, overweight, and obesity in NKD group was 8.9%, 10.2%, 10.4%, 11.2%, and 12.2% respectively, and 1.9%, 7.1%, 5.9%, 9.2%, and 9.3%, respectively, in SK families. The NKD group showed significantly higher prevalence than SK group in stunting(p<0.001), wasting(p=0.014), underweight(p<0.001), obesity(p=0.041) but not in overweight.

Conclusions: The nutritional status of children and adolescents form NKD families was worse than that of those from SK families, and also higher prevalence of obesity.

Methods

Children and adolescents of the NKD families were defined as those aged 0–18 years who are currently being raised in SK and were born in families where at least one parent is an NKD. A total of 527 participants were recruited from local Hana Centers, alternative schools, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across SK between September 2017 and December 2019.

Among the total of 8,127 participants of 2017 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2017 KNHANES), children and adolescents of the SK families were defined as 1,609 children and adolescents aged 0–18 years.

Funding

National Research Foundation of Korea, Award: NRF-2017R1D1A3B03031660