Overweight/Obesity: An Emerging Epidemic in India LC01-LC05
Mr. Mohd Shannawaz,
PhD Student, Department of Development Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai-400088,
Introduction: The nutrition, demographic, and epidemiological transition process are at a pace in most of the states of India since the 1990s. In India, the recent National Family Health Survey 4 (NFHS 2015-16) data shows commendable rise in the prevalence of overweight/obesity.
Aim: To determine the levels, trends, differentials and determinants of overweight/obesity in the states of India.
Materials and Methods: Data from rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) that is NFHS-4 (2015-16), NFHS-3 (2005-06) and NFHS-2 (1998-99) were used in the analysis of this study. To examine the effect of predictors of overweight/obesity, the multivariate logistic regression model was used in the analysis using NFHS-3 data.
Results: Results indicated that overweight and obesity have become substantial problems among different socio economic spectrum of women and men in India, particularly in older ages, people living in urban areas, well-educated and among households of highest wealth quintile and simultaneously among people living in poorer wealth quintile, uneducated and people belonging to socioeconomically less developed states. Analysis reveals that overweight and obesity prevalence in India increased swiftly in last two decades. An alarming trend is that overweight/obese women as well as men population has been more than doubled in 2015-16 since last one and a half decade. There was a significant rise in the prevalence of overweight and obesity from 1998-99 to 2015-16 in both urban and rural areas in all the states of India. An emerging concern is that there was rise in overweight/obesity prevalence up to critical level among the states, where it was not severe earlier. It was also found that food habits did not conclude any definite effect on the prevalence of overweight and obesity. One reason may be the complex and non-uniform dietary habits across the states, and other may the availability of nutritious and balanced food.
Conclusion: The steep emergence of overweight/obesity poses great challenge to healthcare providers and policymakers. Effective implementation of programmes is required before overweight/obesity becomes a more widespread epidemic.