LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2016 | Volume
: 5 | Issue : 1 | Page : 194-
Comment on "correlates of overweight and obesity among urban adolescents in Bihar, India"
Madhavi Bhargava1, Anurag Bhargava2,
1 Department of Community Medicine, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of General Medicine, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Department of Community Medicine, Yenepoya Medical College, University Road, Deralakatte, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
|How to cite this article:|
Bhargava M, Bhargava A. Comment on "correlates of overweight and obesity among urban adolescents in Bihar, India".J Family Med Prim Care 2016;5:194-194
|How to cite this URL:|
Bhargava M, Bhargava A. Comment on "correlates of overweight and obesity among urban adolescents in Bihar, India". J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Feb 26 ];5:194-194
Available from: http://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2016/5/1/194/184668
We read the article by Ghosh et al., "correlates of overweight and obesity among urban adolescents in Bihar, India" with interest.  The authors have done a commendable job of highlighting an issue of public health importance in adolescents of Bihar. However, some issues need to be addressed.
First, the reference for sample size calculation (prevalence = 20%) is a review article which quotes overweight and obesity in Indian studies ranging from 4.7% to 29%.  An original and nationally representative study or a meta-analysis is preferable in calculating a sample size.  Moreover, authors mention the lack of data regarding overweight/obesity in National Family Health Survey (NFHS). It is important to point out that NFHS-3 does report overweight and obesity in the age group of 15-19 years which is 3.5% at national level. For Bihar, it is 1.3% in females and 0.7% in males of 15-19 years of age. 
Authors have used reference data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 dataset for body mass index cut-offs. It would have been preferable to use standardized World Health Organization cut-offs for the age group of 5-19 years which are applicable for developed as well as developing countries.  Moreover, the population is classified in dichotomous categories (overweight and not-overweight) which groups together participants who are normal and thin. According to NFHS-3, the age group of 15-19 has the highest prevalence of thinness, 52% in females and 61.6% in males in this age group in Bihar.  It will be interesting to see the burden of thinness in the 79% reported as not overweight in this study (where participants of 15 years of age are in majority). In addition, the methodology used for the determination of socio-economic status is unclear, and physical activity due to household chores remains undocumented (which is significant in India).
Finally, the analysis shows a significant association between nonconsumption of vegetables and fruits with overweight/obesity. However, socio-economic status is an important confounder in case of intake of vegetables and fruits.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
|1||Ghosh A, Sarkar D, Pal R, Mukherjee B. Correlates of overweight and obesity among urban adolescents in Bihar, India. J Family Med Prim Care 2015;4:84-8.|
|2||Kaur S, Kapil U, Singh P. Pattern of chronic diseases amongst adolescent obese children in developing countries. Curr Sci 2006;88:152-4.|
|3||Khadilkar VV, Khadilkar AV, Cole TJ, Chiplonkar SA, Pandit D. Overweight and obesity prevalence and body mass index trends in Indian children. Int J Pediatr Obes 2011;6:e216-24.|
|4||International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), India, 2005-06. Bihar, Mumbai: IIPS; 2008.|
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