Objective: The problem of overweight and obesity is not confined only to developed countries but is also widely prevalent in developing countries. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity as defined by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) among school-age children in Hyderabad, India, and identify its associated factors.
Research methods and procedures: A cross-sectional and institutional study, adopting a multistage stratified cluster sampling procedure, was carried out during 2003 on adolescents 12 to 17 years of age of both sexes from Hyderabad, India.
Results: The overall prevalence of overweight was 6.1% [95% confidence interval (CI): 4.2, 8.0] among boys and 8.2% among girls (CI: 6.0, 10.4); 1.6% and 1.0% were obese, respectively. The prevalence was significantly higher (p < 0.05) among adolescents who watched television > or =3 h/d (10.4%) or belonged to a high socioeconomic background (14.9%, p < 0.001), whereas it was significantly lower among those participating regularly in outdoor games > or =6 h/wk (3.1%, p < 0.004) and household activities > or =3 h/d (4.7%, p < 0.001). The logistic regression analysis revealed that the prevalence of overweight was 4 times higher among the adolescents of high socioeconomic status [odds ratio (OR): 4.1; CI: 2.25, 7.52], 3 times higher in those not participating in outdoor games (OR: 2.75; CI: 1.56, 4.72), and 1.92 times higher in those watching television > or =3 h/d (OR: 1.92; CI: 1.16, 3.18).
Discussion: This study confirmed the findings of earlier studies carried out in Western countries and emphasizes that regular physical exercise, doing household activities, regulated television viewing, and healthy eating behaviors could contribute to controlling overweight and obesity.