High prevalence of dietary and physical activity related risk factors for non-communicable diseases among apparently healthy urban women in Kochi, Kerala, South India
Keywords:Non communicable diseases, Urban women, Diet, Physical activity, Body mass index
Background: Non communicable diseases (NCDs) represent the biggest threat to women’s health worldwide. NCD is a leading cause of morbidity and premature mortality among women in Kerala. This study attempts to delineate the risk factors of NCDs among apparently healthy urban women in Kochi, Kerala.
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among apparently healthy women of age 20-60 years in randomly selected wards of Eloor municipality, Kochi, Kerala. The minimum calculated sample size was 130. Houses were selected by systematic random sampling. A semi structured questionnaire based on the STEPS instrument was administered to eligible subjects. Their anthropometric measurements were also taken using standardised tools. Data were entered into Excel sheet and analysed using SPSS version 15.
Results: The mean age of the women surveyed was 38.9 years (SD 10.2). Majority (71%) of the study participants were home makers. Majority (97.2%) consumed less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Of them, 79.3% were in the low physical activity category. Around 55% of the women were either overweight or obese.
Conclusions: The current study showed a high burden of risk factors for non-communicable diseases among women in urban area in Kerala. Considering the burden of NCD risk factors in the population, there is urgent need to plan and implement gender sensitive community-based interventions at different levels including health promotion, and prevention.
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