Abstract: Background & Objectives:
The epidemic of adolescent obesity is a substantial health burden worldwide and its impact is being observed in developing countries as well. Obesity has major implications towards increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Hence this study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity and to determine its determinants among school going adolescents in the rural field practice area of the medical college, Hassan, Karnataka.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the school going adolescents attending the government and private schools of the rural field practice area of the medical college. The sample size of 830 was divided between the three areas under rural field practice area as per sample size proportional to population. BMI was measured and WHO reference charts 2007 for BMI was used to categorize the nutritional status of the adolescents.
Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was found to be 5.8% and 1.2% respectively. Female gender, private school, upper socio-economic status, low levels of physical activity, excess television watching, consuming junk foods, breakfast skipping, inadequate sleeping hours were associated with higher prevalence of overweight and obesity.
Conclusion: There is a need for health education programmes, regular monitoring and effective policies to promote healthy eating and lifestyle changes among adolescents to curb the burden of over-nutrition so that adolescents do not become victims of chronic non-communicable diseases.