Association Between Weight Control Failure and Suicidal Ideation in Overweight and Obese Adults

A Cross-sectional Study

Yeong Jun Ju; Kyu-Tae Han; Tae-Hoon Lee; Woorim Kim; Jeong Hun Park; Eun-Cheol Park


BMC Public Health. 2016;16(259) 

In This Article


Background: Korea has the highest suicide rate in the OECD and is one of the few OECD countries whose suicide rates have not decreased in recent years. To address these issues, we investigated the effects of weight control failure on suicidal ideation in the overweight and obese populations.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2008–2012) consisting of 6621 individuals 40 years of age or older. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the relationship between weight control failure and suicidal ideation in the overweight and obese populations.

Results: A total of 6621 participants were analyzed in this study (overweight group: 2439; obese group: 4182). Among them, weight control failure (weight gain with weight loss efforts) was experienced in 962 obese (males 16.3 %, females 29.6 %) and 412 overweight individuals (males 9.1 %, females 23.4 %). Weight control failure was significantly associated with suicidal ideation in obese females (OR = 1.70, 95 % CI 1.21–2.39), but this association was not significant in obese males or in either sex of the overweight group.

Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest that weight control failure is associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation among obese women. Furthermore, intervention programs that aim to address the prevalence of suicide, especially for obese women, are needed.