Published: 2018-09-22

Measures of generalized and central obesity among medical students in a tertiary care teaching hospital

S. Senthil Kumar, S. Vithiavathi, P. Parameswaren, S. Rakesh Kumar


Background: Obesity is a disease process characterized by excessive body fat accumulation which is associated with a large number of debilitating and life-threatening disorders. It is necessary to curb obesity when its beginning in late childhood or adolescence and youngsters. Hence this study is aimed to determine the prevalence of obesity among medical college students.

Methods: This is an observational cross-sectional study conducted at Aarupadai Veedu Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry. Height, weight, waist and hip circumference were measured, and BMI and Waist Hip ratio has been calculated according to WHO standards to determine obesity level in students.

Results: Out of the total 94 students included in the study 56.4% students were in normal weight, 26.6% overweight, 6.4% were obese and shockingly 10.6 % were in the underweight category. Nearly 81.8% and 79.5% of female and male students respectively were in the substantially increased risk category showing insignificant difference between genders.

Conclusions: This study shows that overweight and obesity is prevalent among medical students without much difference in gender basis. Frequent screening might create awareness among students and help them become more self-conscious regarding overweight and obesity.


Central obesity, Medical students, Overweight

Full Text:



Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Edition, Mc Graw Hill Education Publications; April 2015.

World Health Organization -Obesity, preventing and managing the global epidemic-report of a WHO consultation on obesity. Geneva: WHO; 1997.

Albrink MJ, Meigs JW. Interrelationship between skinfold thickness, serum lipids and blood sugar in normal men. Am J Clin Nutr. 1964 Nov 1;15(5):255-61.

Kissebah AH, Vydelingum N, Murray R, Evans DJ, Kalkhoff RK, Adams PW. Relation of body fat distribution to metabolic complications of obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metabolism. 1982 Feb 1;54(2):254-60.

Stevens J, Keil JE, Rust PF, Tyroler HA, Davis CE, Gazes PC. Body mass index and body girths as predictors of mortality in black and white women. Arch Internal Med. 1992 Jun 1;152(6):1257-62.

Berenson GS, Srinivasan SR, Wattigney WA, Harsha DW. Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk in Children a. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1993 Oct;699(1):93-103.

WHO.BMI Classification: Geneva WHO; 2011. Available at:

Tiwari R, Jain V, Rajput AS, Bhagwat AK, Goyal M, Tiwari S. A study to assess prevalence of obesity among medical students of GR medical college, Gwalior, MP, India. Int J Res Med Sci. 2017 Jan 26;2(4):1412-6.

Chhabra P, Grover VL, Aggarwal K, Kanan AT. Nutritional status and blood pressure of medical students in Delhi. Indian J Community Med. 2006 Oct 1;31(4):248-51.

Gopalakrishnan S, Ganeshkumar P, Prakash MV, Amalraj V. Prevalence of overweight/obesity among the medical students, Malaysia. Med J Malaysia. 2012 Aug;67(4):442-4.

Selvaraj K, Sivaprakasam P. A study on the prevalence of overweight and obesity among medical students of Kanchipuram District. Natl J Res Community Med. 2013 July;2:140-4.

Aggarwal T, Bhatia RC, Singh D, Sobti PC. Prevalence of obesity and overweight in affluent adolescents from Ludhiana, Punjab. Indian Pediatr. 2008 Jun 17;45(6):500.

Fernandez K, Singru SA, Kshirsagar M, Pathan Y. Study regarding overweight/obesity among medical students of a teaching hospital in Pune, India. Med J Dr. DY Patil Uni. 2014 May 1;7(3):279.

14. World Health Organization. Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO consultation. Geneva: WHO, 1998, 3-5 June.

World Health Organization, Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Technical Report Series No. 894, Geneva: WHO; 2000.