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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 152-155

Prevalence of overweight/obesity among adolescents in urban and rural areas of Salem, India


Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Periyar University, Salem 636 011, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission09-Apr-2014
Date of Decision25-Jun-2014
Date of Acceptance29-Jul-2014
Date of Web Publication19-Sep-2014

Correspondence Address:
R Parimalavalli
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Periyar University, Salem 636 011, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2347-9906.141142

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  Abstract 

Introduction: Prevalence of overweight and obesity has been reported in developing countries, especially in urban populations. Prevalence of obesity increased from rural (12.8%) than in urban (14.6%) area and overweight in increased from rural (25.8%) than urban (26.3%) area in the age 14-16 years Surat, Gujarat. Objective: To ascertain the prevalence of overweight/obesity among adolescents in urban and rural area of Salem District, Tamil Nadu. Methods: The study was carried out at the Salem block in Salem District. Cross-sectional data were collected from November 2012 to March 2013. Anthropometric measurements were recorded among 1898 school going adolescents, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Multistage stratified random sampling design was employed. School going adolescents in the age group of 11-15 years who were studying 6 th -10 th standard were included. Area of residence was collected from the school register with the help of class teachers. Results: The overall prevalence rate of overweight/obese among adolescents was found to be 12.11%. The highest prevalence was observed at the age of 14 years (15.76%). The prevalence rate of overweight/obese was higher in rural (13.16%) than urban (11.33%) area. Consequently, the prevalence rate of overweight/obesity was higher in rural girls (15.88%) and urban girls (13.74%) compared with boys (12.18%) in rural and (10.45%) urban areas. The highest rate of prevalence was observed at the age of 15 years (14.42%) in urban and 12 years (8.30%) in a rural area. Conclusion: An increasing prevalence of overweight/obesity was seen in rural adolescents especially in girls. Hence, it is an urgent need for immediate and targeted preventive measures.

Keywords: Adolescents, overweight/obesity, prevalence, rural, urban


How to cite this article:
Kowsalya T, Parimalavalli R. Prevalence of overweight/obesity among adolescents in urban and rural areas of Salem, India. J Obes Metab Res 2014;1:152-5

How to cite this URL:
Kowsalya T, Parimalavalli R. Prevalence of overweight/obesity among adolescents in urban and rural areas of Salem, India. J Obes Metab Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 May 26];1:152-5. Available from: http://www.jomrjournal.org/text.asp?2014/1/3/152/141142


  Introduction Top


Adolescence is the period during which lifelong habits are developed. According to several reports, approximately 80% of obese adolescents remain obese even in adulthood. Therefore, it is very important that good health habits should be established during adolescence. [1],[2] Obesity in general is defined as the presence of excess adipose tissue in the body to such a degree that it may lead to health hazards. [3],[4] Obesity has become a global health problem. The issue of being overweight and obese is becoming increasingly prevalent problem in both the developed and developing world, and it is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21 st century. [5] Overweight and obesity and their health consequences have been recognized as major public health problems worldwide. A significant increasing trend in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents has been documented over the last few decades in developed and developing countries. [6],[7] A cross-sectional study conducted in Mysore city by Premanath et al. [8] showed the prevalence of overweight and obesity in school children aged between 5 and 16 years to be 8.5% of overweight and 3.4% of obesity in the urban area respectively, but there is no report regarding rural area study. Studies across the country have reported the prevalence of obesity in the range of 3-29%. [9],[10] It is found to be more prevalent among urban and educated population. [11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16] The prevalence is higher in urban than in rural areas. [17] In Ludhiana, Punjab, urban children in the age group of 11-17 years of age were more overweight (11.6%) than their rural counterparts (4.7%). [17] The prevalence of overweight/obesity was found to be 2.2% in a rural area of Wardha District. [18] The problem is of a larger magnitude in developing countries like India where a significant proportion of the population belongs to younger age group. [19] A study by the National Institute of Nutrition concluded that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in Hyderabad was 11% and 3%. [20] The results of studies among adolescents from parts of Punjab, Maharashtra, Delhi, and South India revealed that the prevalence of overweight and obesity was high (11-29%). In Pune, Maharashtra, studies among 1228 boys in the age group of 10-15 years indicated that 20% were overweight, whereas 5.7% were obese. [17] The objective of the study was to ascertain the prevalence of overweight/obesity among adolescents in urban and rural area of Salem District, Tamil Nadu, India.


  Research methods Top


Study design and sample size

This cross-sectional study was conducted during the month of November 2012 to March 2013 at the Salem block in Salem District. Multistage stratified random sampling procedure was adopted. Two schools were randomly selected from Salem block. Totally 1898 school adolescents (1393 boys and 505 girls) in the age group of 11-15 years who were studying 6 th to 10 th standard were included in the present study. The researcher requested to provide a name list of children studying 6 th -10 th standards from the school authorities and recorded the residence of each student with the help of class teachers. Out of them, 1088 and 810 were belonging to urban and rural area respectively. In the urban area, 797 were boys, and 291 were girls, and in a rural area, 596 were boys, and 214 were girls.

Anthropometric measurements

Standard techniques were adopted for recording anthropometric measurements. Body Mass Index (BMI) was determined from the ratio of weight to height square. Children were categorized according to age and specific percentile of BMI using 2000 CDC BMI-age growth charts. [21],[22] Underweight is defined as less than or equal to the age-specific 5 th percentile. Normal weight is defined as between the 5 th and 85 th age-specific percentile. Students between 85 th and 95 th are categorized as at risk of being overweight. At the 95 th percentile and above, children are classified as obesity. Waist and hip circumference were measured by inch tape and Waist Hip Ratio (WHR) was calculated. Male and female with a WHR >0.9 and >0.8, respectively, are considered as at greater risk of ill-health. Data collection was done with the help of class teachers and class representatives.

Statistical analyses

Prevalence of overweight/obesity was compared between urban and rural areas and expressed in percentage (%). Anthropometric data (height, weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference and WHR) were expressed as arithmetic mean ± standard deviation. Student's "t"- test was used to find out the difference between anthropometric measurements of urban and rural overweight/obese adolescents in MS Excel-2007. Logistic regression analysis was also carried to examine the association between residence (urban and rural) and overweight/obesity. The correlation coefficient was used to ascertain the relationship between anthropometric measures and BMI of the overweight/obese adolescents in urban and rural areas. Software package SPSS version 14.0 (SPSS Inc, Chicago) was used for correlation coefficients.


  Results and discussion Top


The overall prevalence of overweight/obesity among school going adolescents was found to be 12.11%. This study is on par with Kelishadi et al., [23] who found that the prevalence of overweight in high school students increased to 11.2% in 2004. A study conducted at Thiruvananthapuram among 3886 school going children revealed that 17.73% were overweight, and 4.99% were obese. [24] A similar study was conducted at Chennai, in South India, showed that the prevalence of overweight was 17%, and obesity was 3%. [17] The overall prevalence of overweight/obese was observed higher in the urban area (6.48%) than in a rural area (5.63%). High prevalence was noted at 14 years (14.74%) in the urban area and 12 years (8.30%) in a rural area. This result agrees with Mohd, [25] who concluded that the prevalence of overweight in urban cities compared to the rural areas was 21.8% and 15.2%.

In the present study, [Table 1] indicated that the higher prevalence of overweight/obesity was found in rural girls (15.88%) and urban girls (13.74%) (Odds Ratio [OR] - 1.05; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.89-1.19) compared with boys (12.18% in rural and (10.45%) urban areas (OR-0.97; 95% CI: 0.83-1.09). This result is accordance with the study conducted by Kumari and Krishna, [26] who reported that the prevalence rate of adolescent overweight was in the age group of 13-17 years, higher among girls (9.1%; 95% CI: 7.4, 10.8) than boys (6.9%; 95% CI: 5.8, 8.0) in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Table 1: BMI categories of the selected adolescents in urban and rural areas (n=1898)


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[Table 2] found that the girls had a higher prevalence of overweight/obesity than boys in rural than the urban area. The highest prevalence of overweight/obese was noticed in 14 years in rural boys (15.76%) and 13 years (12.40%) in urban boys. On the contrary, the highest prevalence of overweight/obesity was seen in urban girls at 14 years (22.72%) and 13 years (20.83%) in a rural area. This result is opposed with Alok et al., [27] who concluded that the male gender was associated with a higher risk of being overweight and obese than females in urban than rural, after adjusting for age.

[Table 3] shows that the mean height of both urban boys and girls was higher than rural boys and girls. Similar results were noticed in weight status and mean BMI of overweight/obese boys and girls were almost same in urban and rural areas (25.04 and 25.22 respectively). Waist circumference of urban and rural boys was 69.56 cm and 69.03 cm respectively, and 69.03cm and 67.09cm in urban and rural girls respectively. The mean hip circumference of urban boys was higher than rural boys. Moreover, urban and rural overweight/obese girls had similar mean hip circumference. Urban and rural boys and girls had similar mean WHR.
Table 2: Prevalence of overweight/obesity among adolescents according to age and sex in urban and rural areas


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Table 3: Anthropometric measurements of the overweight/obese adolescents in urban and rural areas


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The correlation coefficient was analyzed between anthropometric measurements and BMI, and it is given in [Table 4]. Weight had positive significant correlation with BMI and other anthropometric measurements had no significant relation with a BMI of urban overweight/obese boys, whereas height, weight, waist circumference and hip circumference had positive significant correlations with BMI of the rural overweight/obese boys except WHR. On the other hand, weight had positive significant correlation with BMI and other anthropometric measurements had no significant relation with BMI of the urban overweight/obese girls. Height and weight of the rural overweight/obese girls' had positive significant correlation with BMI. However waist circumference, hip circumference and WHR had no significant correlation with BMI. WHR exhibited a poor predictive ability for obesity in both sexes. [28] The increase in weight and ultimately obesity may be associated with an increase in adipose tissue and the pubertal growth spurt. Body fat distribution is partially controlled by hormones and the difference in fat mass between males and females becomes manifested during puberty. [29] A statistically significant (P < 0.001) positive correlation between age and anthropometric measurements was observed (Pearson correlation was 0.586, 0.740 and 0.389 for weight, height, and BMI, respectively). [30]
Table 4: Correlation coefficient between anthropometric measures and BMI of urban and rural overweight/obese adolescents


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  Conclusion Top


Higher prevalence rates of overweight/obesity were seen in rural areas. The prevalence of overweight/obesity was observed to be much higher in girls when compared with boys of both rural and urban school adolescents. Hence, it is a serious problem and requires immediate attention, creating an awareness program in the schools and parents should encourage their children to involve in more physical exercises, sports and outdoor activities and healthy eating habits, thus avoiding the march toward at risk of overweight and obesity.

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



 

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