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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 73-77

Prevalence of overweight /obesity among adolescent girls in Salem District, India


Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Periyar University, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication7-Jan-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. R Parimalavalli
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Periyar University, Salem - 636 002, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2349-5006.148799

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  Abstract 

Objective: In India, the proportions of overweight and obese people now co-exist with those who are undernourished. The current study attempted to estimate the prevalence of overweight/obesity among adolescent girls in Salem District, India.
Materials and Methods: The study was carried out at the Salem block in Salem District from November 2012 to March 2013. Totally 6619 school going adolescents had been included, their anthropometric measures include height (cm), weight (kg), waist (cm) and hip circumference were measured. Body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. Overweight and obese adolescents were identified based on their BMI. For comparison, girls with normal weight were selected by simple random sampling technique. All the selected girls were in the age group of 10-15 years, and they studied from 6 th to 10 th standard.
Results: The overall rate of prevalence of overweight/obese among adolescent girls was found to be 454 (6.86%). The highest prevalence was observed at the age of 10-11 years (7.82). Mean anthropometric measures of overweight/obese adolescents were higher than normal girls. Mean anthropometric measures of normal and overweight/obese girls were significantly increased by age groups except hip circumference. BMI was highly influenced by weight followed by age, height, hip circumference and WHR of the overweight/obese girls.
Conclusion: Prevalence of overweight and obesity was increasing in developing countries, among school going adolescent girls; weight and age were the major influencing factors of overweight/obesity compared with other anthropometric measures.

Keywords: Adolescent girls, overweight/obesity, prevalence, Salem, waist hip ratio


How to cite this article:
Kowsalya T, Parimalavalli R. Prevalence of overweight /obesity among adolescent girls in Salem District, India. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2014;7:73-7

How to cite this URL:
Kowsalya T, Parimalavalli R. Prevalence of overweight /obesity among adolescent girls in Salem District, India. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Jan 20];7:73-7. Available from: http://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2014/7/2/73/148799


  Introduction Top


Obesity is a chronic condition characterized by an excess of body fat, [1] it represents the most frequent public health problem globally. [2] Overweight is defined as a body weight that exceeds the acceptable weight for a particular person, based on the individual's age, height and/or frame size. [3] Furthermore in both developed and developing countries girls are proportionately more overweight than boys. [4],[5] World Health Organization (WHO) recommends anthropometry as the single most portable, universally applicable, inexpensive and noninvasive technique for assessing the size, proportions and composition of the human body. [6] Anthropometry reflects both health and nutritional status and predicts performance, health and survival. [7] Body mass index (BMI) has been conventionally used to define and classify overweight and obesity. [8] During adolescence, BMI is the preferred method of expressing body fat percentile of groups. It is widely accepted that a BMI between 85 th and 95 th percentiles is defined as overweight, and a BMI greater than the 95 th percentile as obesity. [9],[10],[11] Statistics also shows that the prevalence of overweight continues to increase during the school age and adolescent stages. [12] The prevalence of overweight and obesity was significantly higher among girls than boys (P < 0.0001) and this was markedly seen in adolescence. [13] The prevalence of overweight and obesity among affluent girls aged 10-15 years in Chennai was 9.6% and 6.2% respectively in 1998. [14] The highest prevalence of overweight among girls is found consistent with the gender difference in other Indian populations and other parts of the world. [15],[16],[17],[18],[19] The prevalence of adolescent overweight was in the age group of 13-17 years, higher among girls (9.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.4, 10.8) than among boys (6.9%; 95% CI: 5.8, 8.0) in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. [20] The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6-11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008.

Aim of the study

The objective of this study was to find out prevalence of overweight/obesity among school going adolescent girls in Salem District, India.


  Materials and Methods Top


Selection of subjects

The present study was carried out at Salem block in Salem District. As details given by the Salem District Educational Officer, totally 23 girl's higher secondary schools were located in Salem Block; about five schools were randomly selected and included in this study. Cross-sectional data were collected from November 2012 to March 2013. Totally 6619 school going adolescents who were studying 6-10 th standard in the age group of 10-15 years were included and comprised of two groups of adolescent girls, one group were overweight/obese girls (No-454) and another group of girls representing normal (No-454) population as they were selected by simple random sampling technique.

Anthropometric measurements

Body mass index centile curves, [21] waist circumference centiles, [22] and waist to height ratio [23] are some of the accepted standard measures to determine obesity among children. Height is considered to reflect the intake of nutrients over a considerable period. Height was measured to the nearest 0.1 cm by a portable stadiometer. The recorded values were compared with the standard (ICMR, 2010) of the respective age. Height was measured in standing the position next to a wall with heels, hips, shoulders and head tangent to the wall. Body weight was measured by an electronic weighing balance with 0.1 kg accuracy. Weight was measured in light clothing and without shoes. Adolescents with BMI ≥ 95 th percentile with respect to age were considered as obese, between 85 th percentile and < 95 th percentile were considered as overweight and between 5 th percentile and < 85 th percentile were considered as healthy weight and < 5 th percentile were considered as underweight. Waist and hip circumference had been taken, and waist-hip ratio (WHR) was calculated. Male and female with a WHR > 0.9 and > 0.8 respectively, are considered to be at greater risk of ill-health.

Statistical analyzes

Height, weight, BMI, waist and hip circumference and WHR were displayed in the form of mean and standard deviation. The Student's t-test was used to find out the difference between anthropometric measurements of the normal and overweight/obese adolescents in MS Excel-2007 (Microsoft Redmond Campus, Washington, U.S). Correlation coefficient was used to ascertain the relationship between anthropometric measures and BMI of the selected adolescents. Software package SPSS version 14.0 (SPSS Inc, Chicago) was used for statistical analysis.


  Results Top


[Table 1] depicts the overall prevalence rate of overweight/obese was found to be 6.86% among adolescent girls. The highest prevalence of overweight/obesity was observed at the age of 10-11 years (7.82) followed by 12-13 years (7.26) and 14-15 years (5.79). The prevalence of underweight, normal, overweight and obesity were found to be 28.31%, 64.82%, 5.18% and 1.68% respectively.
Table 1: Distribution of the adolescent girls according to age and weight (n=6619)

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Height, weight and BMI of the selected normal and overweight/obese adolescent girls is given in [Table 2]. Range of height varied from 135.43 cm to 151.84 cm in normal girls and 143.95-150.97 cm in overweight/obese girls between 10 years and 15 years. The weight of the selected girls was in the range of 32.48-47.28 kg in normal girls and 47.83-57.91 kg in overweight/obese girls between 10 years and 15 years of age group. BMI ranged from 17.56-20.43 kg/m 2 to 23.06-25.38 kg/m 2 in normal and overweight/obese girls respectively. However, the weight and BMI for overweight/obese girls was significantly greater than the normal girls.
Table 2: Height, weight and BMI of the selected normal and overweight/obese adolescent girls

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Waist circumference, hip circumference and WHR of the selected normal and overweight/obeseadolescent girls is shown in [Table 3]. Waist circumference of the selected overweight/obese (92.92-93.80 cm) girls was significantly (P < 0.01) higher than the selected normal girls (86.25-90.79 cm). The mean hip circumference of the overweight/obese girls were not significantly different with normal girls because the mean hip circumference in the range of overweight/obese were 96.97-98.52 cm and similar results was observed in normal girls in the range of 97.43-98.25 cm. The range of WHR of the overweight/obese girls was 0.95-0.97, and it was significantly (P < 0.01) higher than the WHR of the normal girls (0.88-0.94).
Table 3: Waist circumference, hip circumference and WHR of the selected normal and overweight/obese adolescent girls

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The correlation coefficient was analyzed between anthropometric measurements and BMI, and it is given in [Table 4]. In this study, using BMI as a benchmark, it shows that in normal girls age, height, weight and waist circumference had high degree significant (P < 0.01) positive relation with BMI whereas waist circumference of overweight/obese girls had no significant relation with BMI. Moreover, no significant results were observed between hip circumference and BMI of the normal girls, but contradicted (P < 0.01) results were seen in the overweight/obese girls. Waist Hip Ratio of normal and overweight/obese girls was significantly related with BMI.
Table 4: Correlation coefficient between anthropometric measures and BMI

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  Discussion Top


Obesity has become known as an epidemic worldwide. [24] WHO has declared overweight as one of the top 10 health risks in the world, while it is ranked in the top five of those in developed countries. This is quite evident, as can be deducted, [Table 1], which clearly shows that the rate of overweight/obesity was found to be 6.86% among adolescent girls in the age of 10-15 years in Salem district, India. Previous studies recommended from within India, Delhi and Chennai have shown that the prevalence of obesity was about 7% and 6% respectively. [14],[15] Recent data on south Indian school children showed that the overweight percent increased from 4.3% in 2003 to 6.5% in 2005. [25] Janssen et.al., 2004 [26] said that the past two decades, the prevalence of overweight has more than doubled among children and adolescents. For example, the prevalence of obese school children was 20% in the UK, 15.8% in Saudi Arabia, 15.6% in Thailand, 10% in Japan and 7.8% in Iran. [27],[28] The highest prevalence was noticed in the present study at the age group of 10-11 years, followed by 12-13 years and 14-15 years. Kapil et al. (2002), [14] Bhatia et al., (2004) [29] and Sood et al. (2007) [30] also reported that the prevalence of overweight and obesity in affluent adolescent school girls in Bangalore was found to be 13.1% and 5.0% respectively. Overweight and obesity were marginally higher in the pubertal age group, that is, 13-15 years of age, as it was observed in other studies in Delhi and Chennai, [31] perhaps because of increased adipose tissue and overall body weight in children during puberty. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was marginally less in the postpubertal period (16-17 years).

Mean height, weight and BMI of the overweight/obese girls were higher than normal girls. In a study conducted by Prashant and Chandan, (2009) [32] in urban slum of Dhaka, who reported that 65% of the overweight/obese girls (10 years to 18 years) were short (<3 rd percentile of NCHS reference values). This result contradicts with Sharma et al., (2006) [33] who indicated that both overweight boys and girls were taller when compared with NCHS data for corresponding age group. The mean height of the adolescents was 136.85 cm ± 15.12 cm for boys and 131.72 cm ± 12.40 cm for girls, whereas the mean weight was 39.43 kg ± 16.06 kg for girls and 42.61 kg ± 15.32 kg for boys. The mean BMI of the adolescents was 19.21. [20] This result is consistent with Spiegel et.al., (2004) [34] who reported that the mean weight of the obese adolescents was higher when compared to the NCHS standard value. This result is on par with Sakamaki et al., (2005) [35] who stated that the average BMI for male students was 21.4 ± 2.5 and it was the highest in the categories 18.9 < BMI <21.4 (37.7%) and 21.4 ≤ BMI <23.9 (32.5%). The average BMI for female students was 20.0 ± 1.8 in categories 18.92 ≤ BMI <20.0 (37.5%) and 20.0 < BMI <21.8 (31.4%) displaying values. Because weight and height do not increase linearly nor in parallel throughout childhood, the same BMI value will reflect different body compositions at different ages. [36]

This study found that waist and WHR were high in overweight/obese girls compared with normal girls. This finding suggests that anssen et. al., (2004) [26] who stated that mean waist circumference values were higher in the overweight and obese persons than in those with a normal person. BMI was mainly influenced by weight, age and height than other anthropometric measures. Misra et al. (2001) [37] found that there was a significant increasing trend in the prevalence of obesity with advancing age. This result is opposed with Nayak and Vinod, (2011) [38] who stated that a positive (r = 0. 763, P ≤ 0.0001) relationship was found between BMI and waist circumference of the children in both sexes, WC had the strongest partial (age controlled) correlations with BMI (men = 0. 56, women = 0. 80).


  Conclusion Top


The present findings indicated that the overall prevalence rate of overweight/obesity was found to be 6.86% and the highest prevalence was seen in 10-11 years (7.82) followed by 12-13 years (7.26) and 14-15 years (5.79) in Salem which is identical incidence reported by other studies. Mean anthropometric measures of normal and overweight/obese girls were significantly increased by age groups except hip circumference. BMI was highly influenced by weight followed by age, height, hip circumference and WHR of the overweight/obese girls. Same standard (6-10 th ) and age group (11-15 years) of girls were selected, but activity and food pattern may be differing from normal and overweight/obese girls. Recommendations for action include more physical education classes and the promotion of healthy food habits at schools and of family suppers at home. Preventive public health actions should be targeted first toward school going children and adolescents.


  Acknowledgment Top


The authors are thankful to the children and their cooperation in the study and to the headmasters, teachers of various schools for all the help extended by them.

 
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    Tables

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


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