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Impact Of Socio-Economic Status On Prevalence Of Overweight And Obesity Among Urban School Children Of Visakhapatnam, North-Coastal Andhra Pradesh

Author: 
N. Padma Sirisha, M. Ramesh, G. Sudhakar, V. Lakshmi Kalpana and G. Paddaiah
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Objective: Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Since the problem is global, the present study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity and compared their association with social & economic status among urban school children of Visakhapatnam, North Coastal Andhra Pradesh, South India. Methods: A total of 1000 children from public and private schools in and around Visakhapatnam were included in this study. Data for children aged 10-12 years of both sexes were collected. Body Mass Index (BMI) was computed using the following standard equation: BMI = Weight (kg)/height (m)². Presence of overweight and obesity were evaluated using the age-sex specific growth charts recommended by Centre for Disease Control, USA. Results: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity were 13.1% (95% CI:11.01-15.19) and 5.1% (95% CI:3.74-6.46) respectively, which together constitute 18.2% (95% CI:15.81-20.59). The prevalence of obesity and overweight were highest among boys (18.4%), at the age of 10 years (23.8%), in private schools (24.5%) and especially in the children with high social status (24.4%) and economic status (28.9%). Thus, the significantly associated categories, according to the weight of the children are age (p=0.002), type of school (p=0.000), social (p=0.000) and economic status (p=0.001). The odds ratio estimates revealed that the children aged 10 years, studying in private school, belongs to high social and economic status were at increased risk to have the overweight and obesity when compared with the other categories within each variable. Conclusion: The study confirmed the findings of earlier studies carried out in India and other countries. It emphasized that the children of high social and economic status were significantly associated with the risk of being overweight and obesity. Thus, similar studies with more number of variables should be undertaken among children, which would help us to have a better and clearer picture on the overweight and obesity situation in India.

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