Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Children of Rural Population: A Prospective Study
Background: Obesity is generally classified as generalized obesity (GO) and abdominal obesity (AO). Individuals with obesity have higher rates of mortality and morbidity compared to non-obese individuals. Globally, the prevalence of childhood obesity has risen in recent years. The International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) and International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) estimate that 200 million school children are either overweight or obese. Aim of the study: To evaluate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children of rural population.
Materials & Methods: For the study we selected subjects from the local government schools in the rural area. A total of 180 subjects with age ranging from 5-17 years were included in the study. The body weight was measured without shoes using a measuring scale and height to the nearest centimeter was taken. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated as weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meter squared). Results: In the study group, no. of obese patients was 12, no. of overweight subjects was 26 and no. of non-obese subjects was 142. We observed that maximum no. of obese children were seen in the age of 10 years (n=3) followed by age of 6, 14 and 15 years (n=2). No. of obese boys was 8 and no. of obese girls was 4. No. of overweight boys was 16 and no. of overweight girls was 10. Conclusion: The high frequency of obese and overweight children is observed in rural area. We found higher frequency of obesity in boys as compared to the girls. Obesity is a serious problem, which requires immediate attention, creating awareness program in the schools and parents encouraging their children to be involved in more physical exercises, sports and outdoor activities.
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