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Australas Med J. 2011;4(1):53-7. doi: 10.4066/AMJ.2011.512. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

A cross-sectional analysis of obesity among a rural population in coastal Southern Karnataka, India.

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Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal.



Obesity is a disease condition that is highly prevalent in both developed and developing countries. Obesity accounts for 60% of cases of diabetes, 40% cases of hypertension and 20% of coronary heart disease and stroke. Although obesity is a silent killer in the third world countries, there is less focus on the problem, as the nations are still staggering with problems due to infectious and parasitic diseases. So, the current study was undertaken to highlight the problem.


A cross-sectional community based survey, among individuals of either sex, aged 30 years and above was carried out on 1,239 respondents, using a two-stage stratified, random sampling technique. Data was collected by personal face to face interview using a pre-designed questionnaire and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5.


The overweight category included 21.4% of the subjects. Obesity as per Body Mass Index (BMI) criteria was seen in 6.6% of the individuals but abdominal and truncal obesity was present among 51.7% and 62.1% respectively. Literacy up to secondary education and graduation were identified by the multivariate analysis to be associated with obesity.


The prevalence of central obesity was found to be high, and hence, lifestyle changes and improved physical activity needs promotion among the general population.


Prevalence; body mass index; obesity; waist circumference; waist-hip ratio

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