A Cross-Sectional Study of the Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity using Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference among 11–14-Year-old Children in Puducherry
Keywords:Body mass index, Children, Obesity, Overweight, Waist circumference
Background: Obesity in children has become more common in recent years around the world. It is estimated that India will have 17 million obese children by 2025. Increased consumption of high-calorie meals deficient in vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, combined with decreased physical activity, is factors contributing to rising childhood obesity. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity using body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. Material and Methods: The study was a school based cross-sectional study conducted among 1386 students aged 11–14 years from four Private Urban schools of Puducherry. This was measured using WHO BMI-for-age-2007 (5–19 years) charts for boys and girls and for waist circumference using an inch tape with a cut off value at 71 cms. Results: The findings reveal that among 1386 children aged 11–14 years the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the study participants was 20.2% and 7.14%, respectively. In the overweight category, girls were overweight (52.5%) when compared to the boys (47.5%) and in the obese category, boys were (51.5%) and girls were (48.4%). The mean waist circumference of students in the overweight category was 76.61 with a standard deviation of 4.32 and in the obese category was 78.7 with a standard deviation of 4.14. A significant association was found between gender and age with the waist circumference at P < 0.001. Conclusion: The present study findings imply that overweight and obesity are a growing concern in our country and there is an urgent need to create awareness among all stakeholders.
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