PREVALENCE AND PREDICTORS OF OVERWEIGHT/ OBESITY AMONG SCHOOL-GOING ADOLESCENTS OF AJMER CITY: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY

Main Article Content

Dr. Arshiya Bharti
Dr. Nasreen Bharti
Mr. Amol Rajendra Gite

Keywords

Overweight, Obesity, Prevalence, School going adolescents

Abstract

Introduction: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 years has risen dramatically from just 4% in 1975 to just over 18% in 2016. Indian population comprises adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years which represents almost 22.8% which is nearly 230 million. Adolescence is generally understood as the period of transition from childhood to adulthood. According to NFHS-4(2015-16) in India, 20.70% of females and 18.60% of males are overweight and obese and in Rajasthan, 14.10% of females and 13.20% of males are overweight and obese. There is a need to provide a better future and bring awareness about health. This made the investigator take up the study on assessment of the prevalence of overweight and obesity and its predictors amongst school-going adolescents of Ajmer city. Aim: To find the prevalence of overweight, and obesity and to identify its predictors among school-going adolescents in selected schools of Ajmer City. Methodology: A cross-sectional study, carried out in Government and Private schools which were selected randomly, located within Ajmer city. After identifying the school, adolescents were selected according to inclusion criteria. Out of 1600 study participants, age group of 10 to 19 years, 800 participants were from government schools and 800 from private schools. After obtaining permission from the concerned authorities the investigator explained the nature of the study and its purpose. Informed consent was obtained from the parents of the students. Data was collected using a predesigned pretested semi-structured self-administered questionnaire. In each standard, the height and weight were measured using standard equipment and procedure in all students except the disabled. The data were analyzed using Epi info 7.2 software. The chi-square test, odds ratio, and p-value were used to find out the association of obesity with various factors. Results: The prevalence of overweight (BMI 23 – 24.9) was 11.63% and obesity (BMI >/= 25) was 7.31%. The overall prevalence of overweight/ obesity was found to be 18.94%. Conclusion: The high prevalence of overweight and obesity observed in the adolescent age group in the present study emphasizes the need to reinforce the importance of health in the early formative years of an individual’s life as there are strong indications that childhood obesity tends to track into adulthood and control of adult obesity is more difficult. The measures to control childhood and adolescent obesity should involve individual, family, community, and administrative coordination.

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