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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 289-292

Rural childhood obesity – An emerging health concern


1 Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Porur, Chennai, India
2 Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Porur, Chennai, India
3 Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Porur, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Padmasani Venkat Ramanan
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Porur, Chennai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_649_18

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Background: Childhood obesity is growing globally as an epidemic. It is the most common metabolic disease identified in children. Objective: To assess the nutritional status of school going children in Poonamallee, Tamil Nadu and to compare the nutritional status between urban and rural school children. Methods: A retrospective review of the school health records over a period of 9 months was done with Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) approval for a total of 1,803 children aged 5 to 18 years (916- rural, 887-urban). Revised IAP growth charts (2015) were used to classify their nutrition status. Results: The overall prevalence of overweight/obesity and thinness/severe thinness in our study was 20% and 9.4%, respectively. In the rural schools, the prevalence of overweight/obesity and thinness was 16.2% and 12.2%, respectively, whereas in the urban schools, it was 24% and 6.4%, respectively. The rural school children had lower mean Z scores of weight for age, height for age, and BMI for age compared to urban children (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Among rural school children overweight/obesity is more prevalent than undernutrition. There is an urgent need for nutrition education for the school children and community.


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