Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Burden of non-communicable diseases: Kerala has the highest central obesity, Andhra Pradesh the least

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Feb 1: People in Andhra Pradesh are the slimmest among the Dravidian lot if the size of the waist is taken into account.
The Indian Council of Medical Research in its latest survey report on the risk of non-communicable diseases points out that only 14 per cent of people in Andhra Pradesh fall in the category of central obesity. The
figure for Kerala is 43 per cent and Tamil Nadu is 25 per cent.Karnataka was not covered under the study in the first phase, which included Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu from South India.
The waist circumference is one of the sensitive indicators for abdominal obesity. Abdominal obesity has got a stronger association with coronary heart diseases as compared to BMI.
The higher the obesity or underweight levels in a population, the higher the risk of non-communicable diseases line hypertension, cardiac problems, diabetes, cancers of colon and breast, and osteoporosis.
Grade I overweight people form 15 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, 18 per cent in Tamil Nadu and 22 per cent in Kerala. The obesity of grade 2 and above is 5 per cent in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and 4 per cent in
Andhra Pradesh.
A cut-off level of 102 cm in males and 88 cm in females have been recommended for developed countries. However, lower cut-off levels of 90 cm in males and 80 cm in females has been fixed for Indians.
Stating that lack of physical activity leads to obesity, hyper-lipidemia, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary heart disease, the ICMR survey noted that "most time spent is mainly related to work only". The
mean time spent in travel related activities (cycling/ walking) is a low 31 minutes per day in Andhra Pradesh. Also the mean time spent in recreational activities is low (4 minutes per day) in the State.
Referring to nutritional inadequacy, a major risk factor of many non- communicable diseases, the survey said 99 per cent of people in Tamil Nadu had less than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The
figures for Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are 88 and 87 respectively. On an average people consumed fruits only two days in a week in Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu and three days in a week in Kerala.
"Overall, the population of states in low category of physical activity were  66 per cent in Tamil Nadu, 68 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, 76 per cent in Kerala. The population of state detected with pre hypertension
stage was 43 per cent in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. However, the stage I and stage II hypertension among people was recorded between 17 per cent in Andhra Pradesh," ICMR report said.

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