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International Journal of Recent Trends in Science and Technology, ISSN 2277-2812 E-ISSN: 2249-8109
Volume 14, Issue 3, April 2015 pp 549-553
A study to know the incidence of obesity in medical students and its correlation with physical fitness
Mervin Israel*, Usha Patil**, V M Ruikar***
*Medical Student, **Professor, ***Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, B.V.D.U.M.C and Hospital Sangali, Maharashtra, INDIA.
The study to know the incidents of obesity in medical students and its correlation with physical fitness is of great significance as medical students are highly susceptible to develop obesity during medical studies due to the time consuming demands, which leaves minimal time for physical exercise and physical activity. Obesity is well known disorder of the 21st century which is constantly on the rise, carrying with it the vast Variety of health related factors. The study is aimed to find out the incidence of obesity in medical students and its correlation with physical fitness. The medical students included in the study were of the age groups between 18 to 24 years. The study included 200 medical students of which 98 were males and 102 were females. The students were examined thoroughly, so as to exclude those suffering from major diseases, psychological problems and those on medication. Obesity was determined by calculating the BMI according to the American journal of clinical nutrition1. And the grading of obesity into various grades between 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2, was done according to WHO. Physical fitness was determined by measuring the physical fitness index, which was calculated by measuring the heart rate (HR) after performing the Harvard’s step test (HST)2. A modified HST was used for Indian conditions. A questionnaire was also used to access exercise habits and body imaging. After appropriate statistical analysis and assessment it was observed that 48 (24%) students belonged to the overweight category with BMI ranging from 30.0 to 39.9. Maximum number of students i.e. 70 (35%) had physical fitness index which was below average (50 – 60). While only 8(4%) students had excellent physical fitness index (>80 %). Majority of the students 137 (68.5%) had a routine habit of exercising only about 0-2 times a week. There was significant negative correlation observed between BMI and physical fitness. Higher BMI i.e. 25.0 – 29.9 (grade 1 overweight) was observed in that category of students having lower physical fitness index i.e. 50 – 60 (below average).