Consensus statement for diagnosis of obesity, abdominal obesity and the metabolic syndrome for Asian Indians and recommendations for physical activity, medical and surgical management

J Assoc Physicians India. 2009 Feb:57:163-70.


Asian Indians exhibit unique features of obesity; excess body fat, abdominal adiposity, increased subcutaneous and intra-abdominal fat, and deposition of fat in ectopic sites (liver, muscle, etc.). Obesity is a major driver for the widely prevalent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Asian Indians in India and those residing in other countries. Based on percentage body fat and morbidity data, limits of normal BMI are narrower and lower in Asian Indians than in white Caucasians. In this consensus statement, we present revised guidelines for diagnosis of obesity, abdominal obesity, the metabolic syndrome, physical activity, and drug therapy and bariatric surgery for obesity in Asian Indians after consultations with experts from various regions of India belonging to the following medical disciplines; internal medicine, metabolic diseases, endocrinology, nutrition, cardiology, exercise physiology, sports medicine and bariatric surgery, and representing reputed medical institutions, hospitals, government funded research institutions, and policy making bodies. It is estimated that by application of these guidelines, additional 10-15% of Indian population would be labeled as overweight/obese and would require appropriate management. Application of these guidelines on countrywide basis is also likely to have a deceleration effect on the escalating problem of T2DM and cardiovascular disease. These guidelines could be revised in future as appropriate, after another large and countrywide consensus process. Till that time, these should be used by clinicians, researchers and policymakers dealing with obesity and related diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat
  • Asian People*
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • India
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / ethnology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / therapy*
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic