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J Prev Med Public Health. 2013 Jul;46(4):192-200. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2013.46.4.192. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Behavioural determinants for obesity: a cross-sectional study among urban adolescents in India.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India.



To measure the prevalence of behavioural risk factors for obesity among urban adolescent school children in Chennai, India.


This study was performed as a cross-sectional study using a World Health Organization-designed Global School-based Student Health Survey questionnaire (modified for India) among adolescent school children studying in 30 randomly selected secondary and higher secondary schools in Chennai city. 1842 adolescents studying in the VIII to XII standards were randomly selected for the study.


In the present study, 40.7% of the students ate fruit one or more times per day and 74.5% of the students ate vegetables one or more times per day. Nearly 20% of the students ate fast food items on 4 to 7 days during the previous week. Among the students, 30.4% watched television for more than two hours per day. Nearly 68% of the girls and 22% of the boys did not participate in outdoor sports activities. When the pattern of physical activity of the students was assessed, it was observed that 15.6% were inactive, 43.4% were minimally active, and the remaining 41.0% belonged to the category of health enhancing physical activity. Among the students, 6.2% were overweight and 5.2% were obese.


The prevalence of risk factors for obesity was quite high among the adolescents. This study also showed that a great proportion of overweight/obese adolescents had a correct perception of their body weight and they were making efforts to modify risk factors such as television viewing, computer use, a sedentary lifestyle, and unhealthy dietary habits.


Adolescent; Dietary behaviour; Motor activity; Obesity; Overweight

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