Overweight and obesity prevalence and body mass index trends in Indian children
Khadilkar VV, Khadilkar AV, Cole TJ, Chiplonkar SA & Pandit D
Objectives. To estimate prevalence of overweight and obesity in apparently healthy children from five zones of India in the age group of 2 to 17 years and to examine trends in body mass index (BMI) during the last two decades with respect to published growth data. Methods. A multicentric study was conducted in eleven affluent urban schools from five geographical zones of India. A total of 20 243 children (1 823 – central zone, 2 092 – east zone, 5 526 – north zone, 3 357 – south zone, and 7 445 – west zone) in the age group of 2–17 years were studied. Height and weight were measured and BMI was calculated (kg/m2). WHO Anthro plus was used to calculate Z-scores for height, weight and BMI. A comparison between study population and previously available nationally representative (1989) data was performed for each age-sex group. International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) and WHO cut-offs were used to calculate the percentage prevalence of overweight and obesity. Results. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 18.2% by the IOTF classification and 23.9% by the WHO standards. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher in boys than girls. Mean BMI values were significantly higher than those reported in the 1989 data from 5–17 years at all ages and for both sexes. Conclusion. The rising trend of BMI in Indian children and adolescents observed in this multicentric study rings alarm bells in terms of associated adverse health consequences in adulthood.
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