Secular trends in obesity, regional adiposity and metabolic parameters among Asian Indian adolescents in north India: a comparative data analysis of two selective samples 5 years apart (2003, 2008)

Ann Nutr Metab. 2010;56(3):176-81. doi: 10.1159/000282281. Epub 2010 Feb 25.


Aim: To assess and compare the secular trends in anthropometric and biochemical parameters over 5 years (2003-2008) amongst Asian Indian adolescents in north India.

Methods: Adolescents matched for age, gender, socioeconomic strata and school grade were taken from two school-based studies (2003, n = 106, girls = 50 and boys = 56; 2008, n = 134, girls = 59 and boys = 75) in north India. Assessment included anthropometric measures [body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist to hip ratio (W-HR), and triceps skinfold thickness] and biochemical parameters [fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c)].

Results: A significant increase in WC (7.2 cm, p < 0.0001), W-HR (0.8, p < 0.0001), triceps skinfold thickness (6.5 mm; p = 0.0001) and FBG (3.5 mg/dl, p = 0.04) was noted in girls, while a significant decrease was noted for HDL-c (-4.6 mg/dl, p = 0.0002) in boys. A higher increase was noted for BMI, WC and FBG in girls as compared to boys. Over 5 years, a marked increase in prevalence (%) of obesity was seen, as indicated by the >95th percentile for age and gender-specific cutoffs of BMI: 11.5% (girls), WC: 19% (girls) and triceps skinfold thickness: 11.7% (girls), 8.8% (boys).

Conclusion: Over the last 5 years, there has been a significant increase in abdominal obesity and FBG and a decrease in HDL-c amongst Asian Indian adolescents from north India, which puts them at risk for metabolic disorders at an early age. In view of these data, primary prevention strategies for childhood obesity need to be strengthened.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Metabolism / physiology*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Schools
  • Sex Factors
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist Circumference


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Triglycerides