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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-13

A cross-sectional study of childhood and adolescent obesity in affluent school children from western suburb of Mumbai 2001-2002 and 2013-2014

1 Medical Research Centre, Kasturba Health Society, Vile Parle (W) Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Medical Research Centre, Kasturba Health Society, Vile Parle (W); Centre for Disorders of Growth and Puberty, Vasudha Clinic, Santacruz (W), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Rama Vaidya
Medical Research Centre, Kasturba Health Society, Vile Parle (W); Centre for Disorders of Growth and Puberty, Vasudha Clinic, Santacruz (W), Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-9906.123850

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Introduction: Change in lifestyle patterns associated with genetic factors is causing increasing prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity in India. Obesity during childhood and adolescence puts these children at a high risk for adult cardio-metabolic disorders and other chronic diseases. It is important that this avalanche is prevented in time by comprehensive school health education programmes and other timely interventions. An observational cross-sectional study, as a part of the School Health Education and Enlightened Living (SHEEL) project, was conducted to assess the prevalence in childhood overweight and obesity during the academic years 2000-2001 and 2013-2014 at a private school. Materials and Methods: As a part of the SHEEL project, a total of 2421 children consists of 1346 boys and 1075 girls (age ranged, 4 -15 years) were evaluated for their height (stadiometer), weight (electronic weighing scale) and body mass index (BMI) during the academic year 2000-2001 (stage 1 study). We approached the same school again in the academic year 2013-14 (stage 2 study). In this stage, a total of 2056 children (1067 boys and 989 girls; age range 5-15 years) were measured for the same parameters to evaluate in childhood and adolescent obesity when compared with that observed in 2000-2001.The measurements were plotted on gender specific BMI charts (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] charts) for obtaining percentiles. Identification of overweight and obesity was arrived at by CDC centile charts. Results: The stage 1 study done during the academic year 2000-2001 in school children from an affluent class of society showed a prevalence of overweight, in girls as 16.7% (180/1075) and in boys, 13.7% (185/1346). The prevalence of obesity for the total number of children was 15.3% (14.2% in 1075 girls and 16.1% in 1346 boys). In stage 2 study done during the academic year 2013-2014 in the same school, prevalence of overweight in girls was 16% (158/989) and in boys, 15.3% (163/1067) and the prevalence of obesity was 11.1% (9.1% in 989 girls and 12.9% in 1067 boys). If children at risk for obesity (overweight) and obese were clubbed together, nearly 1/3 of the children, 30.4% in 2001 and 26.7% in 2013, had above-normal BMI percentiles. In this study, the percentage of children showing overweight/obesity increased from the age groups 7 to 8 years and above as compared to the younger age groups. Conclusions: The current cross-sectional study shows that the prevalence of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity amongst children from a upper-socio-economic stratum of society has remained high at 25-30% during both the periods of the school-based study. However, the trend for the prevalence of overweight and obesity in this >10 years has shown a definite decline of 5.8% in girls, while the decline of 1.6% in boys was not as remarkable.

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