Cross-Regional Analysis of Multiple Factors Associated with Childhood Obesity in India: A National or Local Challenge?
Sommaire de l'article
To investigate obesogenic co-causing factors, promoting rise of weight in children, associated to local differences in India.
Overall 1,680 children, aged 3-11 and balanced by gender, were recruited in school contexts distributed in seven major Indian cities. All children were weighted and measured in order to calculate their BMI. A validated cultural specific questionnaire was administered to children's parents for assessing socio-demographic data, eating habits, physical activity, etc. Furthermore children's brand awareness scores were computed in order to analyze their affiliation towards food-based advertisement. Descriptive statistics of frequencies, duration and intensity of the various factors were performed. Chi-square tests or Wilcoxon signed rank test were used for evaluating significance of differences in factors distribution across Indian cities.
Four factors, promoting rise of children's weight, were individuated as associated to urban differences, namely meal times consumed in the family, parents' BMI, brand awareness and physical activity. These aspects exercised a significant impact on children's body size in Kolkata and Chennai. Hyderabad and Mumbai, instead, were the cities where religion played some role in influencing children's weight gain.
Such findings underline the need to frame obesity as a situated phenomenon rather than a national problem. Health policies, implemented in treating and preventing obesity, should be therefore specifically focused on locally situated peculiarities.