Objectives: We examined the nationwide geographic variation of overweight and obesity in India, as well as a range of potential correlates of excess body fat. Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analyses of the 2005–2006 Indian Demographic Health Survey (IDHS), based on 161,050 individuals (age range 18–54 years). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine odds ratios (OR) of overweight and obesity compared to normal weight with associated correlates. Results: The overall prevalence was 12.4 % for overweight, 3.2 % for obesity, and 26.5 % for underweight. After multivariate adjustment, obesity was nearly thrice more likely in urban areas than in rural (OR 2.73, 95 % CI 2.53–2.94). Women were 2.71 times more likely to be obese than men (95 % CI 2.50–2.95). Better socioeconomic status was significantly associated with overweight and obesity. Overweight (OR 1.38, 95 % CI 1.31–1.47) and obesity (OR 1.46, 95 % CI 1.32–1.61) were most likely to occur in India’s Southern zone, when controlled for confounding factors. Conclusions: High-risk estimates for overweight/obesity in urban settings, along with socioeconomic prowess in India and the resulting nutritional transition make a compelling case for public health policy on healthy lifestyles to avert the growing burden of non-communicable diseases associated with overweight/obesity.
- Geographic variation
- Risk factors