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Background: Excess adiposity is a chronic condition that contributes to non-communicable
disease (NCD) related morbidities, mortalities and causes public health problems.
Objectives: The objectives of the present community based cross-sectional study were to assess
the prevalence of overweight and obesity and its socio-economic and demographic concomitants
among a group of Karbi women of Assam, Northeast India.
Material and Methods: The study was carried out among 600 Karbi married women aged 20-49
years in Karbi-Anglong district of Assam, Northeast India. Height and weight were recorded
and body mass index (BMI= weight (kg)/ height2
)} was calculated. The prevalence of
overweight (BMI≥23.00-24.99 kg/m2
) and obesity (BMI≥25.00 kg/m2
) were assessed using
the Asian-Pacific population reference cut-offs. Data on the socio-economic, demographic and
lifestyle variables were collected using a pre-structured questionnaire.
Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity were 17.33% and 14.33%, respectively.
Binary logistic regression (BLR) analysis showed that age at the time of interview, family size,
≥4 number of dependent children, alcohol consumption, tobacco use and monthly per-capita
income were the significantly risk factors for both combined overweight-obesity and obesity
independently (p<0.05). Step-wise multiple logistic regression showed that age at the time of
interview (30-39 years) (p<0.01), consumption of alcohol (p<0.05) and use of tobacco (p<0.05)
remain the significant risk factors for combined overweight-obesity; and age at the time of interview
(30-39 years) (p<0.01), monthly per-capita income (p<0.05) and number of dependent
children (p<0.01) for obesity.
Conclusion: Prevalence of overweight and obesity is emerging as a public health issue among
the indigenous Karbi women of Assam. The results suggest that increase in age, alcohol consumption,
tobacco use, number of dependent children and family income were the major predictive
variables that increases the prevalence of excess adiposity. Appropriate healthcare strategies
and intervention programmes are required to reduce subsequent complications of excess
adiposity in this population.
Department of Anthropology University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045, USA Director de Antropologia Museo Regional-Universidad Nacional de San Martin Tarapoto, San Martin, Peru
Teaching Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858, USA
Department of Anthropology
University of Mysore
Mysore-570006, Karnataka, India
Departments of UMass Boston, Namely Biology and Anthropology
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125, USA