Overweight and obesity among school-going adolescents in Bengaluru, South India
Anangamanjari D Pedapudi1, Ryan A Davis1, Priya Rosenberg2, Priya Koilpillai3, Bhavya Balasubramanya4, Avita Rose Johnson5, Ambuj Kumar6, Lynette Menezes6
1 Medical student, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
2 Medical Student, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
3 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
4 Department of Community Medicine, Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
5 Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
6 Department of Internal Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
Avita Rose Johnson
Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: Adolescent obesity is an emerging public health problem in urban India. This study assessed the prevalence of overweight and obesity and its associated factors among school-going adolescents in Bengaluru, India.
Material and Methods: Cross-sectional study of 734 male and female students aged 10 years and older from two private schools in Bengaluru city, India. Students were administered a questionnaire that recorded socioeconomic, and family-related factors and lifestyle behaviors. Anthropometric measurements done to determine overweight and obesity using the WHO body mass index for age charts. Nominal variables were described in terms of frequency and proportion, and odd's ratio (OR) (with 95% confidence interval) as test of association.
Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents was 21.7% and 6.1% respectively. Age, gender, religion, education level of parents, mother working outside the home, participation in vigorous physical activities, vegetarian diet, and consumption of junk foods as snacks were not found to be significantly associated with overweight/obesity.
Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight/obesity among school-going adolescents in Bengaluru, India was 27.8%. Adolescents from the higher income families, OR = 2.35 (1.43–3.85) as well as students who indicated a family history of obesity, OR = 2.4 (1.72–3.33) were more likely to be overweight or obese. Since young adolescents spend a significant portion of their day in school, a comprehensive school health service including growth monitoring, nutrition education, and exercise programs remains one of the most cost-effective public health measures.