Prevalence of overweight and obesity among medical students and their knowledge, attitude and practices about obesity
Background: Overweight and obesity are recognized as an “escalating epidemic” affecting both developed and developing countries. Obesity is associated with a large number of debilitating and life- threatening disorders such as cardiovascular, metabolic and other non-communicable diseases. The childhood roots of adult obesity are widely recognized which calls for health promotion targeted at youth. Objectives: 1) To study the prevalence of obesity among medical students 2) To assess their knowledge, attitude and practices about obesity.
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 300 medical students from all batches of MBBS course i.e. Ist, IInd, IIIrd and final MBBS in Feb 2009 to March 2009 in Grant medical college Mumbai. A predesigned and pretested questionnaire was used as data collection tool and height and weight were measured and BMI was calculated.
Results: Majority (52%) were in the age group of 18-20. 61% were males and 39% were female. 25% (75) were day scholars and 75% were hostellers. When assessed about knowledge about obesity, 100% students scored 50% and above. Majority of them had positive attitude but lack of appropriate behaviour and practices. Prevalence of overweight and obesity according to WHO classification was 14.7% and 3% respectively and according to Asia-Pacific guidelines it was 9.3% and 18.4% respectively.
Conclusions: Promotion of daily physical activity in the form of outdoor games, Yoga, walking are recommended. Nutritional education on dietary practices and life style change should be built in as supporting educational activity during student years.
Keywords: Obesity, Knowledge, Attitude, Practices, Medical students
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