Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 52-59

Ethnicity, obesity and health pattern among Indian population

1 Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
2 Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research, Drive-In Road, Thaltej, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
3 Faculty of Anthropology, School of Social Sciences, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi, India
4 Manipur University, Canchipur Road, Imphal, Manipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Satwanti Kapoor
Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, Delhi - 110 007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-9668.95955

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Objective: To study the relationship of ethnicity with overweight/obesity, variation in adiposity levels, regional distribution of fat and its impact on cardio-respiratory health among selected ethnic groups. Materials and methods : A cross-sectional study was carried out among 300 young adults of three ethnic groups from different geographical regions of India ranging in age from 20 to 30 years. Stature, weight, circumferences, body fat percentage, and skinfold thicknesses were measured. Obesity indices like body mass index (BMI), grand mean thickness (GMT), waist hip ratio (WHR), waist height ratio (WHtR), and conicity index (CI) were computed. Cardio-respiratory health indicators such as lung functions including forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV 1.0 ), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory ratio (FER), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), breath holding time (BHT), and systolic and diastolic BP (blood pressure) were taken and associated with obesity indices. Results: General body fat deposition, assessed by BMI, GMT, and fat percentage, was found to be the highest among Delhi females and males. However, central adiposity as assessed from WHR, WHtR, and CI was found to be significantly higher among the Manipur subjects signifying a relatively more androidal pattern of fat deposition. Most of the inter-group differences for adiposity indices were significant; however, it was not so in the case of blood pressure among different ethnic groups. On the other hand, the respiratory efficiency varied significantly between different ethnic groups. Ethnicity, adiposity, and cardio-respiratory health were found to be interrelated. Conclusions: Subjects belonging to three ethnic groups showed marked differences in different body dimension, adiposity indices, and cardio-respiratory health. Central obesity has been found to be a better pointer for cardiovascular health risk. There were ethnic and gender differences with respect to adiposity measures and cardio-respiratory health indicators

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