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Informative Article | Public Health Education | India | Volume 8 Issue 10, October 2019
Weight Problems in Urban Indian Adolescents - Our Double Burden
Abstract: The aim of this study is to study weight related psychological and social issues that are impacting middle income Indian adolescents. This becomes relevant as the rise of weight problems is growing at an unprecedented pace, with nearly a quarter of this population classified overweight or obese by BMI. To study the psychological and other consequential impacts, three focus group discussions of seven people each, helped form clear hypothesis on societal attitudes and stigmatization towards adolescent weight issues, which were further explored and tested via a questionnaire that was administered to 200 school going adolescents in Mumbai and Delhi. Further, in depth one on one Interviews were conducted with the managements of certain schools as well to further validate the study and triangulate findings. The findings are as follows: 1. Weight issues lead to social stigma in adolescents: it’s measurable and increases markedly in older adolescents.2. Social stigma leads to inhibited behaviours and passive avoidance of the corrective behaviours required.3. Response of schools and society to this matter is absent or insufficient and implicit and explicit bias is measurable. India has a well recognized double burden of malnutrition and weight related problems, two problems confronting Indian society simultaneously but in different socio economic categories. Our focus on malnutrition has worked wonders, we need to replicate that focus to tackle adolescent weight problems.
Keywords: Overweight, adolescents, stigma, obesity, bias, India
Edition: Volume 8 Issue 10, October 2019,
Pages: 1194 - 1197