Socio-Economic Inequality in Childhood Obesity in a Metro City in India

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 17:00
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Susmita BHARATI, Indian Statistical Institute, India
Premananda BHARATI, Indian Statistical Institute, India
Childhood obesity is an emerging problem especially among the urban children. Childhood obesity may persist and develop into adult obesity which affects the likelihood of persistence of hypertension, diabetes, orthopedic disorder, heart diseases etc. The reason for obesity is not clearly understood but it is believed that some environmental factors, life-style and cultural factors have a pivotal role behind it.

The main objectives of the study are to see – (i) the prevalence of obesity among 6-9 years children; (ii) the gender difference in obesity and (iii) the relationship of obesity with socio-economic factors and TV watching.

In the present study, we have restricted our study to randomly drawn school-going children of classes I to IV from 20 different schools in Kolkata. The sample size is 4956, of which 2595 are girls and 2361 are boys. Body Mass Index (BMI) is considered as a measure of nutritional status as well as obesity. To determine the relationship between obesity with different socio-economic variables and Television watching, categorical logistic regression has been carried out to establish the probable reason for cause and effect on obesity.

The result shows that overweight and obese children are only 32.7 percent. These percentages are 36.9 and 28.9 percents separately for boys and girls respectively. Thus, boys are more obese than girls. Socio-economic variables like gender, medium of school, parent’s education, occupation, income and Television watching and its duration are directly responsible for increasing the obesity.

Besides socio-economic factors, TV watching is thought to influence intake of more junk food items induced by advertisement. Less of physical exercise is a direct reason. Attention to children should be given the first priority, if we want to see the next generation to be healthy.