Tuesday, 1 January 2013

It’s a weighty issue for women in Hyderabad. One in two women in twin cities is overweight. Interestingly, the “burden” of heavy weight is not limited to just posh and middle class localities of Hyderabad. Women in slums, which otherwise are the best examples of under-nutrition due to socioeconomic reasons, are also overweight, indicating a pan-Hyderabad excess weight problem

Hyderabadi women are overweight

By Syed Akbar

Hyderabad: It’s a weighty issue for women in Hyderabad. One in two women in twin cities
is overweight. Interestingly, the “burden” of heavy weight is not limited to just posh
and middle class localities of Hyderabad. Women in slums, which otherwise are the best
examples of under-nutrition due to socioeconomic reasons, are also overweight, indicating
a pan-Hyderabad excess weight problem.

The first-ever major scientific study on nutrition and weight in women living in eight
mega cities including Hyderabad came out with several interesting facts like women, who
consume eggs on daily basis, stay slim while those eating fish put on weight.

The study was conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai,
the University of Allahabad, and the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Besides
Hyderabad, the cities covered under the study are Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai,
Indore, Meerut and Nagpur.

The team of researchers comprising Kirti Gaur, Kunal Keshri and William Joe based their
scientific calculations on the data obtained from the latest National Family Health
Survey. “One in every two women in mega-cities is malnourished (either undernourished or
over-nourished),” they pointed out.

The study revealed that Chennai and Hyderabad have a high prevalence of overweight women
across both posh (non-slum) and slum areas. The place residence has no
significant impact on women’s nutritional status. If the body mass index (BMI) is taken
into account 49 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 years in Hyderabad and other
mega cities are underweight or overweight.

“The prevalence of overweight is relatively higher among women (24 per cent) than among
men (16 per cent),” the researchers said. This in other words means, more men are slim
than women in twin cities. Moreover, Hyderabad has a higher proportion of overweight
women than underweight.

But when women of Hyderabad are compared with their counterparts in Chennai, they are
slimmer. But women in Delhi are better weight-managed than those living in Hyderabad. The
study was published in the latest issue of the prestigious journal, Social Science and
Medicine (Elsevier).

Dr Kirti said in Chennai and Hyderabad, the dual burden among women population is as high
as 55 per cent. “It is worrisome to note that 41 per cent of the study sample from
Chennai and over 34 per cent of women from Hyderabad is overweight in non-slum areas,”
she pointed out.

Better education has not come as a boon with regard to maintenance of good body weight.
The researchers found that overweight outcomes are significantly associated with
education and are higher among women with better educational achievements. A little over
one-third of women in posh localities with higher educational background are overweight.

Regular intake of eggs is not associated with overweight. Women, who consume fish, are
more likely to be overweight. “Although fish makes for a healthy meal, perhaps a strong
preference for fried fish can make it a fat-rich intake,” they pointed out.

Until recently, obesity was largely associated with better-off urban households. Now the
problem of overweight is a rapidly expanding phenomenon across city slums, the
researchers warned.
Hyderabad: It’s a weighty issue for women in Hyderabad. One in two women in twin cities
is overweight. Interestingly, the “burden” of heavy weight is not limited to just posh
and middle class localities of Hyderabad. Women in slums, which otherwise are the best
examples of under-nutrition due to socioeconomic reasons, are also overweight, indicating
a pan-Hyderabad excess weight problem.

The first-ever major scientific study on nutrition and weight in women living in eight
mega cities including Hyderabad came out with several interesting facts like women, who
consume eggs on daily basis, stay slim while those eating fish put on weight.

The study was conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai,
the University of Allahabad, and the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Besides
Hyderabad, the cities covered under the study are Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai,
Indore, Meerut and Nagpur.

The team of researchers comprising Kirti Gaur, Kunal Keshri and William Joe based their
scientific calculations on the data obtained from the latest National Family Health
Survey. “One in every two women in mega-cities is malnourished (either undernourished or
over-nourished),” they pointed out.

The study revealed that Chennai and Hyderabad have a high prevalence of overweight women
across both posh (non-slum) and slum areas. The place residence has no
significant impact on women’s nutritional status. If the body mass index (BMI) is taken
into account 49 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 years in Hyderabad and other
mega cities are underweight or overweight.

“The prevalence of overweight is relatively higher among women (24 per cent) than among
men (16 per cent),” the researchers said. This in other words means, more men are slim
than women in twin cities. Moreover, Hyderabad has a higher proportion of overweight
women than underweight.

But when women of Hyderabad are compared with their counterparts in Chennai, they are
slimmer. But women in Delhi are better weight-managed than those living in Hyderabad. The
study was published in the latest issue of the prestigious journal, Social Science and
Medicine (Elsevier).

Dr Kirti said in Chennai and Hyderabad, the dual burden among women population is as high
as 55 per cent. “It is worrisome to note that 41 per cent of the study sample from
Chennai and over 34 per cent of women from Hyderabad is overweight in non-slum areas,”
she pointed out.

Better education has not come as a boon with regard to maintenance of good body weight.
The researchers found that overweight outcomes are significantly associated with
education and are higher among women with better educational achievements. A little over
one-third of women in posh localities with higher educational background are overweight.

Regular intake of eggs is not associated with overweight. Women, who consume fish, are
more likely to be overweight. “Although fish makes for a healthy meal, perhaps a strong
preference for fried fish can make it a fat-rich intake,” they pointed out.

Until recently, obesity was largely associated with better-off urban households. Now the
problem of overweight is a rapidly expanding phenomenon across city slums, the
researchers warned.

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