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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-19

Body fat percentage and its correlation with dietary pattern, physical activity and life-style factors in school going children of Mumbai, India

Department of Food and Nutrition, SVT College of Home Science, SNDT Women's University, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Jagmeet Madan
Department of Food and Nutrition, SVT College of Home Science, SNDT Women's University, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-9906.123862

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Introduction: Nutritional status of Indian children is a double-edged sword, reflecting dual burden of malnutrition. The standard norm of body mass index (BMI) percentiles may not reflect adiposity in children at both ends of the spectrum of malnutrition. The aim of the following study was to estimate body fat percentage of school-going children of different socio-economic strata and to compare it with BMI percentiles in an effort to identify the lean obese in malnourished children. An attempt was also made to correlate body fat percentage with dietary intake pattern and life-style factors including levels of physical activity, breakfast-eating patterns, frequency of eating out and sleep patterns. Materials and Methods: The sample comprised of 764 school-going children aged 10-17 years from private and government schools of Mumbai with a majority in the age group of 10 to 15 years. Results: The results indicate a high prevalence of underweight in government and private school children (82.7% and 55% respectively) based on BMI percentiles. A high percentage of government school and private school children (69.1% and 39.4%, respectively) were also classified in the category of very less body fat. The mean BMI was 18.97±3.79 and 16.09±2.9, respectively and the mean body fat percentage was 17.43±9.79 and 11.29±7.0 respectively in private and government school children There was an increase in the percentage of children who were overweight and obese in private schools (from 4.9% to 22.9%) and in government schools (from none to 4.3%) when they were classified based on body fat percentage. A number of children in underweight and normal categories of BMI did show high body fat percentage. Body fat was positively correlated to poor quality of eating and lifestyle factors including quantum of refined flour bakery products (P=0.001), eating out frequency (P=0.001), less duration of sleep (P=0.001), increased TV-viewing (P=0.013); it was negatively correlated to frequency and quantity of salad consumption (P=0.001), regular breakfast-consumption pattern (P=0.001) and increased level of physical activity (P=0.001). Conclusion: The study gives an insight in body fat percentage of Indian children and its relationship to dietary pattern and life-style factors.

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