Girls in the age group of 10-16 years and who belong to the upper strata of society are overweight in comparison to those studying in government schools.
This was revealed through a study which was recently conducted by Jaspreet Kaur, assistant professor in the home science department of Government College for Girls.
Upper socio strata girls are those who belong to economically better families and have better access to food, while those from lower socio strata belong to economically weaker families and do not get adequate food to eat.
There is dual burden of malnutrition on both strata as upper strata girls are prone to obesity and being overweight, while lower strata girls are underweight and malnourished.
Talking to HT, Jaspreet said, "The study was conducted on 400 girl students of upper strata and 400 of lower strata. The girl students in the age group of 10 to 16 years were selected and I observed their height, weight and did a comparison with a study I had conducted seven years ago and it gave me a scary picture.
My earlier study also showed that upper strata schoolgirls were overweight than girl students of government schools, but the recent study revealed that 28.9% girls of upper strata are overweight while the figure was 20.8% in 2007."
The study further showed that in 2007, 7.78% girls of upper strata were obese and now 16.75%. Among lower strata girls, 27.2% were underweight, while the figure was 23.17% in 2007.
The reason for obesity in upper strata girls is their eating habits as children are spending more than two hours on watching television and computers than doing any physical activity. Whenever children are out of home they prefer eating junk food.
So there is a need to pay more attention towards healthy intake by girls of both strata.
Jaspreet had presented her research paper titled "Dual burden of malnutrition" at a national conference held recently at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi. Around 2,000 delegates from all over the country participated in the conference.