Objective: (1) To assess the height, weight and body mass index (BMI) of school children from Delhi and generate percentile charts as appropriate for age, gender and socio-economic status. (2) To determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity in school children from low and upper socioeconomic status (LSES and USES respectively).
Design: Cross sectional evaluation of anthropometric parameters in Delhi school children (5-18 years) from different geographical zones.
Setting: Government schools (non-fee paying) and Private Schools (fee paying) in Delhi.
Subjects: 21485 children, 8840 (3566 boys, 5274 girls) from government schools and 12645 (6197 boys, 6448 girls) from private schools.
Methods: Subjects underwent assessment of height and weight and calculation of BMI. Children were classified as normal, overweight and obese as per IOTF guidelines. Height, weight and BMI percentile charts specific for the socioeconomic status were generated using the LMS method. Prevalence of overweight and obesity was assessed and compared between the two socio-economic groups.
Results: A significant difference was noted in height, weight and BMI between LSES and USES. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in USES children was 16.75 % and 5.59 % in boys and 19.01 % and 5.03 % in girls respectively.
Conclusions: There is a significant disparity in anthropometric parameters between children from USES and LSES, with a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in USES children.