Body Misperception and Its Associated Factors among Cancer Survivors in Korea

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Family Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Seonam University, College of Medicine, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.

2 Department of Family Medicine, International St. Mary`s Hospital, Catholic Kwandong University College of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea, Simgokro 100gil 25, Seo-Gu Incheon city, Republic of Korea.


Background: As the number of cancer survivors is increasing, the importance of their healthcare management is becoming emphasized. For this purpose, appropriate recognition of the importance of body weight is necessary. This study concerned misconceptions about body weight and related factors among cancer patients. Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 1,159 participants who participated in the 2007-2012 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Self-reported questionnaires were used to assess cancer information, socioeconomic status, health behavior, and psychological factors. Results: Men had a higher rate of underestimation and a lower rate of overestimation of body weight than women (34.7% vs. 22.9%; 10.9% vs. 15.5%, respectively). Underestimation of body weight was positively associated with a self-assessment of being in poor health in men (OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.58- 3.75) and in elderly women (OR 3.70, 95% CI 2.44-5.23). Overestimation of body weight was positively associated with depression in men (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.01-4.63) and a high educational level/high-income level and having tried to control weight in women (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.16-3.18; OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.00-2.47; OR 3.24, 95% CI 1.82-5.77, respectively). Conclusions: Higher socioeconomic status (SES), depression, self-rated health status, age, and weight control trials were found to be associated with underestimation and overestimation of body weight in cancer survivors. From this study, it is evident that more efforts are needed to remove misperceptions and to develop healthy behavior for cancer survivors by various means.


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