Pattern and determinants of obesity among undergraduate medical students of Delhi

Yachna Setu, Anika Sulania, Ravi Prakash Jha, Shelesh Kumar Goel


Background: Obesity is one of the most serious public health challenge of 21st century. Overweight and obese children are more likely to develop non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in their adolescent age group. For the last few years prevalence of obesity among adolescent has risen dramatically. According to few recent studies, prevalence of obesity is high among medical students. Aims and objectives of the research was to study the prevalence of obesity among undergraduate medical students and to assess the determinants of obesity.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 undergraduate medical students in a medical college of Delhi. A pre-designed, pretested and semi-structured interview schedule was used. And for anthropometric measurements, digital weighing scale for weight measurement, stadiometer for height measurement and non-stretchable inch tape for waist-circumference/hip-circumference (WC/HC) measurement.  

Results: A total of 200 medical students were surveyed for a period of 6 months. It was observed that according to World Health Organization (WHO) Asian – pacific classification of body mass index (BMI), 21% (42/200) were overweight and 29% (58/200) were obese. Among the study participants, socio demographic variables which were found to be associated with increased BMI were mother’s education (p value=0.02), father’s education (p value=0.01) and type of the area (p value=0.03). Occupation of mothers and father was not found to be significantly associated with the BMI.

Conclusions: Medical students are our future doctors and role model for the community, so it is very important to modify the dietary and lifestyle factors in order to decrease the prevalence of overweight and obesity among medical students.



Overweight, Obesity, Physical activity, Medical students

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