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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.56 (2) (Mar - Apr, 2015) (309-317)

PREVALENCE OF OBESITY AMONG ADOLESCENTS OF RURAL AND URBAN DHARWAD

Uma Ballolli1, Usha Malagi2, B Kasturba3
1Ph.D Scholar, 2Professor, 3Professor
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Rural Home Science
University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka - 580005

K V Ashalatha
Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Statistics
University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Karnataka - 580005

Abstract

Obesity is a growing public health problem in both developed and developing countries. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of overall obesity determined by body mass index (BMI) and abdominal obesity identified by waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist to height ratio (WHtR), in adolescents attending high school in rural and urban settings of Dharwad, Karnataka, India. A total sample of 1000 (rural girls-245, rural boys-255, urban girls-177 and urban boys-323) adolescents age ranged between 13 to16 years were selected randomly from different high schools of urban and rural Dharwad. Height, weight, waist circumference and hip circumference of the subjects were measured and BMI, WHR and WHtR were calculated. Overweight and obesity were defined according to WHO, 2007 classifications for adolescents. WHR>0.80 for girls and >0.95 for boys and WHtR ≥ 0.50 were categorised as abdominal obesity. Prevalence rate of overweight was 1.65 per cent in girls and 1.21 per cent in boys. Whereas, obesity was 2.76 per cent in boys and 0.94 per cent in girls based on BMI. But when classified based on waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist to height ratio (WHtR), girls (55.45% and 9.00 %, respectively) had higher percentage of abdominal obesity than boys ( 6.05 % and 5.53 % , respectively). In conclusion, Overall obesity is substantially prevalent in boys and abdominal obesity in girls. Findings emphasize the importance of establishing community–based interventions in order to prevent the development of adolescent obesity and its complications in adulthood.

Key words: Adolescents, obesity, overweight, BMI, WHR, WHtR.

Introduction

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. The problem is global and is steadily affecting many low and middle income countries. The prevalence has increased in alarming rate. World Health Organization estimated globally in 2011, more than 42 million children were overweight. Close to 35 million of these are living in developing countries. The calculated global prevalence of overweight (including obesity) in children age 5 to 17 years is 10 per cent and the prevalence varies from 4.50 per cent (China) to 45 per cent (Greece) in various parts of the world (Anonymous, 2013). In India the prevalence of adolescents obesity increased significantly from 9.8 per cent in 2006 to 11.7 per cent in 2009 (Gupta et al., 2011). In Karnataka (Davanagere), the prevalence of overweight was 6.5 per cent and obesity was 1.1 per cent among 13 to 16 year old adolescents (Subraya, 2011). In Dharwad, the prevalence of overweight was higher in urban adolescents (3.69%) compared to rural (2.19%, Jayashree, 2001).

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