Prevalence of overweight and obesity among rural school children aged between 6 years to 16 years

Madanika S. V., Mahendrappa Kotyal B., Kumar G. M., Anuradha S.


Background: The rise of childhood overweight and obesity in India is not only restricted to urban localities but fast spreading to rural areas due to lifestyle change and economic transition. Effective preventive measures will prevent the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension etc., in adult life. This study aimed at assessing the prevalence of overweight and obesity and estimate the various factors influencing on it among school children in rural area.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 542 school children of age 6-16 years from selected schools of B. G. Nagara. Research tool comprised of questions about demographic characteristics, type of physical activity, screen time, height and weight were measured on calibrated scales and BMI was assessed using IAP-growth charts. Statistical analysis was done using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) 22 version statistical software.

Results: Overall, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was 12.9% and 7% respectively. The prevalence of overweight was more in girls (13.6%) than boys (11.3%), whereas the prevalence of obesity was more in boys (8.2%) than girls (5.6%). Association of overweight and obesity with socio-economic status, parental obesity, type of food consumption, screen time, daily physical activity in children revealed a strong statistically significant correlation (p<0.001).

Conclusions: The prevalence of overweight is higher than obesity with statistically significant correlation with various factors, revealing the need for public awareness and initiation of preventive measures for development of obesity and the complications related to it.


Rural school children, Overweight, Obesity, Body mass index

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