Prevalence of abdominal obesity in non-obese adolescents: a North Indian adolescent study

Dhiraj Kumar Solanki 1 , Rama Walia 1 , Akanksha Gautam 1 , Anoop Misra 2 , Arun Kumar Aggarwal 3 ,  and Anil Bhansali 1
  • 1 Department of Endocrinology, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
  • 2 Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, India
  • 3 Department of Community Medicine, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
Dhiraj Kumar Solanki
  • Department of Endocrinology, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
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, Rama Walia
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Endocrinology, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
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, Akanksha Gautam
  • Department of Endocrinology, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
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, Anoop Misra, Arun Kumar Aggarwal
  • Department of Community Medicine, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
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and Anil Bhansali
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Endocrinology, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
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Abstract

Context

Childhood obesity is defined based on body mass index (BMI) criteria. Asian adults have more abdominal adiposity as compared to Western people for an equivalent BMI. Similarly, children who are non-obese/overweight by BMI criteria may have abdominal obesity. It is important to identify and target this population to reduce future cardiovascular risk.

Objective

To evaluate and inter-relate the prevalence of obesity subtypes (generalized and abdominal) in school going adolescents.

Methods

A randomized cross-sectional community based study was conducted, which was carried out in 13 schools of Chandigarh, a North Indian city. 10,037 school going adolescents of age 10–18 years were evaluated.

Results

The prevalence of overweight and generalized obesity in present study was 9.3 and 4.9% respectively. Generalized obesity was observed in 4.2% of males and 5.7% of females (p-Value = 0.001). The abdominal obesity was noted in 5.4% of children and its prevalence increased progressively with age. The prevalence was highest in 16–18 years age-group (7.6%, p<0.001). 39.3% of abdominally obese subjects were not obese by BMI criteria, while prevalence of abdominal obesity in nonobese adolescents was 2.24%. It was more prevalent in females (3.7%) than males (3%, p=0.025). Prevalence of obesity was 7.9 and 1.8% in private and government schools respectively (p<0.001).

Conclusions

Abdominal obesity is more prevalent than generalized obesity and shows increasing trend with age. Interestingly, over one third of centrally obese adolescents are not obese by BMI criteria. This underlines the importance of waist circumference measurement in addition to BMI while assessing obesity.

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The Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism (JPEM) is the only international journal dedicated exclusively to endocrinology in the neonatal, pediatric and adolescent age groups, and publishes the results of clinical investigations in pediatric endocrinology and basic research. JPEM publishes Review Articles, Original Research, Case Reports, Short Communications and Letters to the Editor.

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