The proportion of overweight men in India has doubled over the past decade; according to a latest government health survey which also found that one in five women are now overweight. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) whose survey period was between 2015-16, the number of men (adults age 15-49 years) who are overweight or obese was 18.6 per cent while the NFHS-3 data collected in 2005-06 showed 9.3 per cent men were overweight or obese.
According to the NFHS-4, the percentage of men and women who are categorised as overweight or obese have Body Mass Index (BMI) above 25.0 kg/m2.
While 26.3 per cent men were found to be overweight in urban areas, 14.3 per cent men were obese in rural areas of the country. Similarly, 20.7 per cent women in the country were found to be overweight or obese during NFHS-4 in comparison to 12.6 per cent during the NFHS-3.
Nearly 31.3 per cent women were found to obese in urban areas and 15.0 per cent in rural areas. According to NFHS-4, women whose BMI was found to be below normal was 22.9 per cent in comparison to 35.5 per cent during the 2005-06 survey.
Similarly for men, 20.2 per cent men were found to be below normal in comparison to 34.2 per cent during the last survey.
5.8 per cent women were found to have high blood sugar level during the 2015-16 survey while 2.8 per cent had very high blood sugar level. For men, 7.9 per cent were found to have high blood sugar levels while 3.8 per cent had very high levels. In NFHS-3, these indicators were not taken.
The NFHS-4 unveiled by the health ministry yesterday was conducted after collecting information from 6 lakh households, 7 lakh women and 1.3 lakh men, and for the first time provides district-level estimates.
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