Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lifestyle Diseases in School Children In Delhi (Aged 8-12 years): Prevalence, Risk Factors and Awareness

Research Question: What is the Prevalence and Awareness Levels with regard to Lifestyle Diseases amongst school going children (Aged 8 -12 years)?What are the associated risk factors? Objective: To assess the Awareness levels and Prevalence with regard to Lifestyle Diseases amongst the children and to study the associated risk factors.Type of Study: Cross sectional study. Participants: A sample of 293 children studying in Government and Public Schools (6th – 8th Std) in Delhi. Tool: Questionnaires inquiring about eating habits, physical activity, sleep habits, opinions on right living were used to gather the data. Result: 10% of the population was obese and 39% were underweight. 90% of the population opines that physical activity is needed for good health but as much as 45% rarely on never indulges in physical activity. The most preferred pastime activity of more than 70% falls under the sedentary category. Although the awareness levels with regard to right eating habits are high (90%), however 50% consume soft drinks, chips and chocolates as frequently as 3 times a week. 8% experience problems with sleep very frequently and 45% experience sometimes. Conclusion: The high prevalence of both obesity and underweight reminds of the predicament that a developing country like India faces. With the huge lag between awareness levels and actual practice amongst the children, the onus is on the family, education and the media to mould productive and healthy lifestyle patterns for the children.

Authors: Phalguna, J Kishore, N Bhagat

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