Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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A cross sectional study of obesity among school children using WHO BMI - for- age charts in North East India
Rajesh Kunwar

Last modified: 2018-08-24


Background: Reduction of premature mortality due to non-communicable diseases through prevention and control forms the core issue of Target 3.4 of Sustainable Development Goals. Childhood obesity is an important public health challenge today. The current study was carried out to find out prevalence of obesity among school children using World Health Organization (WHO) Body Mass Index (BMI) - for - age charts for boys and girls.

Materials and methods: This cross sectional study included school children from 5th standard to 12th standard. Sample size was worked out to be 682. BMI in respect of all the students was computed and compared with the median of standard BMI hyphen for hyphen age chart of WHO.

Results: A total of 793 school children comprising of 328 (41.4%) girls and 465 (58.6%) boys between the age groups of 6 and 19 years were included. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among girls was 9.76% and 1.22%; and among boys it was 10.97% and 3.23% respectively. Mean BMI for both the sexes was less than the WHO median BMI - for - age at all ages but the difference was not found to be statistically significant in most cases.

Conclusion: Prevalence of overweight and obesity found in our study was less than that in many similar studies carried out in the country but was comparable to that of developed countries. Observed BMI – for - age indicated tendency for increase in the combined prevalence of overweight and obesity. It is high time to take proactive preventive measures and curb the onset of overweight and obesity in school children.

Keywords: Obesity, School children, BMI-for-age chart