Urbanisation and geographic variation of overweight and obesity in India: a cross-sectional analysis of the Indian Demographic Health Survey 2005-2006.

  • Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics
  • Public Health Research
September 01, 2015 By:
  • Siddiqui ST
  • Kandala NB
  • Stranges S.

OBJECTIVES: We examined the nationwide geographic variation of overweight and obesity in India, as well as a range of potential correlates of excess body fat. METHODS: We conducted cross-sectional analyses of the 2005-2006 Indian Demographic Health Survey (IDHS), based on 161,050 individuals (age range 18-54 years). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine odds ratios (OR) of overweight and obesity compared to normal weight with associated correlates. RESULTS: The overall prevalence was 12.4 % for overweight, 3.2 % for obesity, and 26.5 % for underweight. After multivariate adjustment, obesity was nearly thrice more likely in urban areas than in rural (OR 2.73, 95 % CI 2.53-2.94). Women were 2.71 times more likely to be obese than men (95 % CI 2.50-2.95). Better socioeconomic status was significantly associated with overweight and obesity. Overweight (OR 1.38, 95 % CI 1.31-1.47) and obesity (OR 1.46, 95 % CI 1.32-1.61) were most likely to occur in India's Southern zone, when controlled for confounding factors. CONCLUSIONS: High-risk estimates for overweight/obesity in urban settings, along with socioeconomic prowess in India and the resulting nutritional transition make a compelling case for public health policy on healthy lifestyles to avert the growing burden of non-communicable diseases associated with overweight/obesity.

2015 Sep. Int J Public Health.60(6):717-26. Epub 2015 Jul 22.
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