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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 206-210

High prevalence of preobesity and obesity among medical students of Lahore and its relation with dietary habits and physical activity

Department of Medicine, Medical Unit III, Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Muhammad Zaman Khan Assir
Department of Medicine, Medical Unit III, Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani Road, Lahore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.176357

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Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of obesity among students of medical colleges of Lahore and to study its correlation with high-caloric diet intake and physical inactivity. Study Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at four medical colleges of Lahore, Pakistan between March and June 2012. Methods: A total of 244 medical students (85 males, 159 females) of the median age of 20 years (range: 18–25) were randomly included in the study. Anthropometric measures were obtained. High-caloric diet intake and physical profile were assessed through a self-reported questionnaire. The relationships between obesity indices (body mass index [BMI], waist-to-hip ratio) were investigated and correlated with the studied dietary and physical activity factors. Results: Approximately, 30.5% males and 16% females had BMI ≥25.0 kg/m2 overall affecting 21% of total medical students. Central obesity was found in 46% of male and 31.4% of female students. Central obesity was associated with a higher total daily caloric intake, studying at private medical college and male gender. Overall, 197 of 244 (80.7%) students played no sports in college. Median time to watch television or work on the computer was 120 min a day (range: 30–420). Only 70 (28.7%) students had regular walk or jogging. Conclusion: A substantial proportion of Pakistani medical students were overweight or obese. Higher total daily caloric intake was associated with central obesity but not a BMI >25. Physical activity parameters favored an overall sedentary aptitude for medical students.

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