Original paper

Comparison of BMI and percentage of body fat of Indian and German children and adolescents

Janewa, Vanessa Schönfeld; Ghosh, Arnab; Scheffler, Christiane

Anthropologischer Anzeiger Volume 69 No. 2 (2012), p. 175 - 187

published: Mar 1, 2012

DOI: 10.1127/0003-5548/2012/0170

BibTeX file

ArtNo. ESP140006902004, Price: 29.00 €

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Today, serious health problems as overweight and obesity are not just constricted to the developed world, but also increase in the developing countries (Prentice 2006, Ramachandram et al. 2002). Focusing on this issue, BMI and percentage of body fat were compared in 2094 schoolchildren from two cross-sectional studies from India and Germany investigated in 2008 and 2009. The German children are in all age groups significantly taller, whereas the Indian children show higher values in BMI (e.g. 12 years: Indian: around 22 kg/m2; German: around 19 kg/m2) and in the percentage of body fat (e.g. 12 years: Indian: around 27%; German: around 18-20%) in most of the investigated age groups. The Indian children have significantly higher BMI between 10 and 13 (boys) respectively 14 years (girls). Indian children showed significant higher percentage of body fat between 10 and 15 years (boys) and between 8 and 16 years (girls). The difference in overweight between Indian and German children was strongest at 11 (boys) and 12 (girls) years: 70% of the Indian but 20% of the German children were classified as overweight. In countries such as India that undergo nutritional transition, a rapid increase in obesity and overweight is observed. In contrast to the industrialized countries, the risk of overweight in developing countries is associated with high socioeconomic status. Other reasons of the rapid increase of overweight in the developing countries caused by different environmental or genetic factors are discussed.


overweightschool childrenindustrial and developing countries