Obesity: changing outlook of Indian adolescent children: emerging and worrying trend

Prashanth S. V., Latha G. S., Veeresh Babu D. V., Gururaj S.


Background: Obesity, a key risk factor for the chronic and non-communicable disease, has become a serious public health concern in both developed and developing countries. WHO has designated obesity as global epidemic. In 2014, 41 million children under the age of 5 years were found to be overweight or obese. Most of the world’s population lives in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. Objectives of the study were to know the prevalence of obesity and factors associated with obesity in rural and urban part of India.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in three high schools of rural and urban part of Davangere district, central Karnataka, India with a sample of 918 adolescent school children. Pre-designed questionnaire was used to elicit the required information. Height and weight was measured. Body mass index was calculated.

Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was observed to be 10.1% and 0.5% respectively. In rural part the prevalence was 7.1% and in urban area it is 12.6%. Overweight/obesity was significantly associated with family history of overweight/obesity, dietary habit, eating junk foods, sedentary life styles including watching television, lack of physical exercise and not participating in outdoor games.

Conclusions: Overweight and obesity thought to be disease of developed and affluent nation. But in changing trends, countries like India especially rural areas, it’s alarming to see such results. Adopting the healthy lifestyles, food habits and regular exercise can reduce the risk of becoming overweight and obese.  


Activity of children, BMI, Childhood obesity, High school children, Influencing factors, Prevalence, Parental obesity, Rural and urban, Snacking habit

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