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An epidemiological study to find the prevalence and socio-demographic profile of overweight and obesity in private school children, Mumbai

Suvarna S Kalyankar-Sonawane, Vijaykumar Singh.

Background: As developing societies industrialize and urbanize, and standards of living continue to rise, weight gain and obesity are now becoming a growing threat to the health of the future citizens

Objective: To find the prevalence of overweight and obesity and socio-demographic factors among children in private schools of an urban area.

Methods and Material: A cross-sectional study, conducted in all private schools present in the Sion area. Age group selected was 13–15 years. Data were collected using semi-structured self-administered questionnaire schedule. Data were related to information about socio-demographic factors, anthropometric measurements (height, weight) of study subjects to calculate body mass index, and certain risk factors of obesity and overweight. Analysis was done by using chi-square test.

Results: There were 44.2%, 49.3%, and 18.1% students overweight and obese in 13 years, 14 years, and 15 years of age, respectively. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children was 31.1% and 5.7%, respectively. More than half number of school children belonged to the upper-middle (35.3% and upper-lower (28.7%) economic class, who ate fast foods, noodles, snacks, pastries, butter, ice-cream, fizzy drinks, chocolates, milk, and non-vegetarian food particularly chicken and fish from outside.

Conclusions: The nutritional transition, lifestyle, and popularity of fast food, fizzy drinks, sedentary behavior, lack of sport, increased TV/computer watching and working parents are risk factors.

Key words: Overweight, obesity, body mass index, children

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