Factors affecting prevalence of overweight and obesity in urban adolescents: a study from North Chennai, India


  • Harikrishnan Elangovan Department of Paediatrics, Government Villupuram Medical College, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Rajesh Kumar Department of Paediatrics, Government Villupuram Medical College, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, India




Adolescents, Obesity, Overweight


Background: Obesity is escalating at an alarming rate especially among the urban population. Obesity in childhood is an important risk factor for obesity in adulthood. Overweight and obesity are related to physically inactivity, high social economic back ground and dietary transition. This study was done to estimate the overall prevalence of overweight and obesity among urban adolescents and to examine its associated factors.

Methods: This is a cross sectional community-based study conducted in North Chennai Corporation Zone II over a period of 2 years. A predesigned proforma was used to collect the demographic profile, socioeconomic status and level of physical activity. Trained Investigators were used to measure anthropometric measures. Data were analyzed with SPSS 16.0 and P value of <0.05 is taken as statistically significant.

Results: A total of 4900 children (M: 2317, F: 2583) were included in the study. The prevalence of overweight and obesity were found as 22.1 % and 4.1%. The proportion of overweight was highest at 14 years for boys and 15 years for girls. There is a statistical significance for overweight in relation to sex (P = 0.001), socioeconomic status (P = 0.00001), parent’s occupation (P = 0.00001) and literacy status (P = 0.00001), junk food preference (P = 0.00001), mode of conveyance (P = 0.00001) and level of physical activity (P=0.00001).

Conclusions: As obesity in childhood has high risk of comorbidities, intervention studies have to be planned to educate the adolescents as they are the future society and the role models for their off springs.


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