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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 348-355

Obesity among the urban poor: Evidence from a community-based study among adults residing in an underprivileged area of Bengaluru city, India

1 Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sakthi Arasu
Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_60_21

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Obesity is increasing among the urban poor and is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence and determinants of obesity among adults over the age of 30 years in an underprivileged community of Bengaluru city. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in an underprivileged area of Southern Bangalore. Sociodemographic details, diet, and lifestyle risk factors were assessed by a pretested questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements of height, weight, and waist circumference were recorded and World Health Organization Asian cutoffs for body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were used. The Chi-square and Fischer exact tests were used, and adjusted odds ratios (AORs) with 95% confidence interval calculated by logistic regression. RESULTS: Of the 2244 participants in the study, 60.8% were obese and 14.7% were overweight. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was 79.2% and was significantly higher among women than among men (P < 0.001). Among those with normal BMI, 42.4% had abdominal obesity. Obesity was significantly associated with 40–59 years age group (AOR = 1.35 [1.10–1.64], P = 0.004), higher education (AOR = 1.49 [1.08–2.06], P = 0.016), higher income (AOR = 1.52 [1.18–2.280, P = 0.042), married status (AOR = 1.43 [1.13–1.820, P = 0.003), and daily consumption of salty foods (AOR = 2.01 [1.30–3.92], P = 0.041). CONCLUSION: Our study in an urban underprivileged area of Bengaluru city found a high prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity. Targeted interventions are needed to reduce obesogenic environments in urban underprivileged areas, improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables, behavior change communication and screening for diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia among the urban poor, considering the high levels of obesity in this population.

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