Hyderabad: A new study has found that the body weight of people in rural Andhra Pradesh is rising. The mean body mass index of the respondents grew by +2.6 kg/m2, the third highest among Indian states.
Kerala and West Bengal topped the chart, the mean BMI growing by +3.8 kg/m2 and +2.6 kg/m2, respectively. A lower increase was observed in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The study was carried out by the Imperial College, London, to which the Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition contributed data from India.
The researchers examined the BMI of more than 112 million adults across urban and rural areas of 200 countries, involving a network of more than 1,000 researchers.
It was found that between 1985 and 2017, the BMI rose by an average of 2 kg/m2 in women and 2.2 kg/m2 in men globally, equivalent to each person gaining 5-6 kg.
In the rural areas, the BMI increased by 2.1 kg/m2 in both women and men and in cities 1.3 kg/m2 in women and 1.6 kg/m2 in men.
In India, the study found the mean BMI to be 16.5 kg/m2 in the rural areas which increased to 18.5kg/m2 in 2012.
Explaining the trend, Dr A. Laxmaiah, head of NIN’s public health and nutrition division, said, “Rural areas have seen shifts towards higher income, better infrastructure and more mechanised agriculture, all of which bring numerous health benefits but also lead to lower energy expenditure and more spending on low quality processed food..”
Dr R. Hemalatha, Director, ICMR-NIN added, “Consumption of low-quality calories that lack in nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk is the major driver of overweight/obesity and stunting and anaemia.”...