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Childhood Obesity

Obesity is now being recognized as a major health problem in both developed and developing countries. India is facing a ‘double jeopardy’, with obesity emerging as an important health problem and ironically co-existing with significant undernutrition prevailing in different sections of the population. The major health consequences associated with overweight and obesity are type 2 diabetes, coronary heart diseases (CHD), hypertension, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. Studies on urban Indian schoolchildren from different regions in India report a high prevalence of obese and overweight children. Clearly it is evident that not only the private schools, but also the public school adolescents are overweight / obese. Continued surveys conducted in New Delhi show a secular trend in the increase in the prevalence of obesity. Studies report a prevalence of overweight / obesity among urban private school going adolescents as 29% [1]. The main causes identified are intake of energy dense foods and lack of physical activity.

Prevalence of Overweight/Obesity among 14 – 18 year old urban Indian adolescents in 8 cities of India

City (number)

Overall Overweight/Obesity

Private Schools

Public Schools

New Delhi (n = 11789)

22.0

31.5

9.2

Agra (n = 10013)

14.9

24.5

5.3

Jaipur (n = 9039)

10.4

15.9

5.4

Allahabad (n = 11940)

14.9

18.6

8.6

Mumbai (n = 2168)

22.3

33.9

8.4

Lucknow (n = 1053)

14.9

14.9

NA

Dehradun (n = 1879)

15.4

17.0

2.4

Pantnagar (n = 1561)

3.4

NA

3.4

All cities (n = 49442)

15.7

22.9

6.9

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