Socio-Economic and Demographic Correlates of Overweight and Obesity: A Study on the Karbi Women of Assam, Northeast India

*Corresponding author: Nitish Mondal, Ruplin Timungpi, Jaydip Sen and Kaushik Bose*

Author Affiliations

Department of Anthropology, Assam University, Diphu Campus, Karbi Anglong, Assam, India
Department of Anthropology, Assam University, Diphu Campus, Karbi Anglong, Assam, India
Department of Anthropology, University of North Bengal, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
Department of Anthropology, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal, India


Mondal N, Timungpi R, Sen J, Bose
K. Socio-economic and demographic
correlates of overweight and obesity:
A study on the Karbi women of Assam,
Northeast India. Anthropol Open
J. 2017; 2(2): 31-39. doi: 10.17140/


©2017 Bose K. This is an open access
article distributed under the
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (CC BY 4.0),
which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction in
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work is properly cited.

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original research


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.


NCD: Non-Communicable Disease; ANOVA: One way analysis of variance;
BLR: Binary Logistic Regression; CIs: Confidence Intervals.