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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-75

Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescent students in Pondicherry, South India


Department of Community Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India

Date of Web Publication11-Apr-2016

Correspondence Address:
R Vishnu Prasad
Department of Community Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalapet - 605 014, Puducherry
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.179966

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   Abstract 

Context: The adolescent period of human life is one of the vital times when most of the body growth and development occur. Nearly 35% of the global burden of disease has its root emergence in adolescence. Overweight and obesity are defined as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health." Aims: The present study aims to measure the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescent students (aged 10-18 years) in Pondicherry. Settings and Design: The study was conducted as a cross-sectional study among 10-18-year-old students in Pondicherry. The study was conducted among 2,465 students from 5 schools and 2 polytechnic colleges. Materials and Methods: The students were classified as "overweight" or "obese" based on the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) age- and gender-specific body mass index (BMI) guidelines. Statistical Analysis Used: Data entry was done in MS Excel 2013 and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 was used for the statistical analysis. Chi-square test was used to identify statistical difference in proportions. Results: The study results showed that the prevalence of overweight and obesity in our study population was 9.7% and 4.3%, respectively. There was no difference in prevalence between males and females. The prevalence of overweight/obesity increased as the age advanced. Conclusions: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was predominant among the students of private schools in the urban region in our study population.

Keywords: Adolescent, obesity, overweight, prevalence, students


How to cite this article:
Prasad R V, Bazroy J, Singh Z. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescent students in Pondicherry, South India. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis 2016;6:72-5

How to cite this URL:
Prasad R V, Bazroy J, Singh Z. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescent students in Pondicherry, South India. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Oct 16];6:72-5. Available from: http://www.ijnpnd.com/text.asp?2016/6/2/72/179966


   Introduction Top


The adolescent period of human life is one of the vital times when most of the body growth and development occur. Preparation for adulthood takes place in this period in the form of physical, sexual, and psychological growth and development. Nearly 35% of the global burden of disease has its root emergence in adolescence. [1] Overweight and obesity are defined as "abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health." [2] Energy imbalance between consumed and expended constitute the primary etiology behind overweight and obesity. Changing dietary pattern and sedentary lifestyle are said to have led to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity. South Asia is found to have the highest prevalence of obesity and it was found to increase every year. [3] Obesity in adolescents is found to have association with the occurrence of various lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, osteoarthritis. during adulthood. It is essential to know the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents so that appropriate preventive measures can be taken. The present study aims to measure the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescent students (aged 10-18 years) in Pondicherry.


   Materials And Methods Top


The study was carried out as an institute-based (schools + polytechnic college) cross-sectional study among adolescents (aged 10-18 years). The study was carried out from June 2014 to December 2014. Five schools (1 urban private school, 1 urban government school, 1 rural private school, 2 rural government schools) were selected randomly to have equal distribution of students from the urban and rural regions, both government and private schools. Since the number of students in the rural government schools is less, two schools were included in order to have equal distribution of students among various school types for comparison. In case of polytechnic colleges (two), the students studying in each of the colleges were from the urban and as well as rural regions. Hence, one private college and one government college were selected. Minimum required sample size was calculated to be 2,458 based on the prevalence of 14% from a study done in Karnataka, South India. [4] The sample size was calculated with a relative precision to 10% of prevalence, using the formula Z2 PQ/d2 . All the students of both genders available during the time of examination in the schools and institutions were included in the study. The total number of students included in the study was 2,465, of which 1,882 were from the schools and the remaining 583 were from the polytechnic institutions. There were 1,310 (53.1%) male students and 1,155 (46.9%) female students. Students who could not be contacted after two visits to the institution were planned to be excluded from the study; however, we could recruit all the enrolled students with a 100% response rate. The heights of the students were measured and rounded off to the nearest centimeter and the weights of the students were measured to the nearest 100 gm by the investigators. Age- and gender-specific body mass index (BMI) was calculated using WHO Anthroplus software. [5] The students were classified as "overweight" or "obese" based on the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) age- and gender-specific BMI guidelines. [6] Data entry was done in MS Excel 2013 and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 (SPSS-Inc., Chicago, IL) was used for the statistical analysis. Written informed consent was obtained from the parents and assent was obtained from the students wherever applicable.


   Results Top


The age- and gender-wise distribution of the students who participated in the study based on their height and weight are found to follow standard normal growth curves in adolescents [Table 1]. The overall prevalence of overweight was 9.7% (240) and obesity was 4.3% (105) among our study population (not presented in table). The overall prevalence of overweight/obesity was 14% (345). There was no significant difference in prevalence of overweight/obesity among males and females. In both males and females, the prevalence was high among those who are in the age group of 16-18 years when compared to the adolescents in the age group of 10-15 years [Table 2].
Table 1: Height and weight distribution of students based on gender


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Table 2: Distribution of children with overweight/ obesity based on age and gender (N=2,465)


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The prevalence of overweight and obesity were high among student who belonged to the schools of the urban region (14.8%) and private schools (18.7%) when compared to the students of the schools in the rural regions and government schools, respectively. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity among early adolescents (aged 10-15 years) was observed to be 12.3% [Table 3].
Table 3: Distribution of overweight and obese students based on type and location of schools (N=1,882)


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The maximum prevalence of overweight and obesity was observed in the urban private school (20%), while the minimum prevalence of overweight and obesity was observed in the rural government school (5.2%) [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Distribution of overweight/obesity prevalence among students based on school type* (N = 1,882) *The difference in prevalence of overweight/obesity among various school types was found to be statistically significant (P < 0.001)

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The prevalence of overweight and obesity was found to high among males in the younger age group (10-14 years) when compared to females, whereas among the students of older age group (15-18 years) the prevalence was observed to be higher among female students as compared to their male counterparts [Table 4].
Table 4: Association between gender and overweight with respect to age group (N=2,465)

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   Discussion Top


The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was found to be 14% among adolescents (aged 10--18 years) from the present study. Also we observed a higher prevalence of obesity among urban and private school students. Goyal et al. [7] reported a similar prevalence (12%) of overweight and obesity among adolescents (aged 12-18 years). It was also reported in the same study that the prevalence of overweight was high among adolescent children who belonged to higher socioeconomic class compared to those who belonged to the lower socioeconomic class. Laxmaiah et al., in a similar study conducted among adolescents in the age group of 12-17 years, reported a prevalence as low as 7% during the year 2007. [8] It was observed by George et al. [9] in a study done in Kerala among rural adolescent children in the age group of 13-18 years that the  rates of prevalence of overweight and obesity were 16% and 7%, respectively. The results of the studies discussed above show a higher prevalence when compared to our study. A higher prevalence of about 15.8% was also reported from another study by Ramachandran et al. [10] among urban adolescent school children. Recent studies have shown increasing trend of prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents. [11],[12],[13] Goyal et al.[14] in a study among adolescents in Surat city observed a prevalence of overweight and obesity as 6.55% and 13.9% respectively. Some of the determinants of overweight and obesity found in the previous study were low physical activity, TV watching/computer games, and junk foods. Similar association was also seen in a study done by Prasad et al. [15] in Hyderabad city among adolescents. Also obesity and overweight is found to be associated with body shape dissatisfaction among adolescents that may further lead to low self-esteem. [16] A multicomponent approach-based intervention that involves both school and home environments for the prevention of obesity is advised. [17] In the present study, it was observed that prevalence of overweight/obesity was high among males in the younger age group, whereas in the older age group it was high among females, this could possibly be explained by the hormonal changes influencing growth during adolescence and puberty. Some of the strengths of the present study are that it included students from both urban and rural region and students of private and government institutions are included, hence the study results can be generalized. Also, standard procedures were followed in classifying the students as overweight and obese. Some of the possible limitations of the study are as follows: The relatively small sample size and cross-sectional design, which is inadequate to study various possible determinants of overweight and obesity. Also, the exact place of residence (urban or rural) to which the students belong could not be ascertained since the information regarding this when collected from younger student was not found to be of good validity, although an attempt was made. In case of urban schools, from the school student records it was observed that most of the students (>90%) were from urban areas. Whereas most of the students (>95%) in the rural schools were from rural areas as reported by the school officials. Similarly, socioeconomic status of the students cannot be studied directly since most of the children may not give relevant details, hence a private-government stratification was done.


   Conclusion Top


The prevalence rate of overweight and obesity were 9.7% and 4.3%, respectively, in our study population. The study results show that overweight and obesity is predominant among adolescent students belonging to the private schools in urban Pondicherry.

Acknowledgment

The authors would like to acknowledge the support of all the students who participated in the study and the head of the institutions for permitting the study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

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    Figures

  [Figure 1]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]


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