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OBJECTIVE: to find out the frequency of obesity, overweight and health risks among the 1st year medical students of Rehman Medical College Peshawar, Pakistan. METHODOLOGY: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Rehman Medical College, Peshawar, Pakistan from April to July 2011. A self administered questionnaire was given to 100 students of 1st year MBBS, of which 80 responded. Data was collected using structured questionnaire and anthropometric indices were measured using standard tools for measuring weight hip ratio (WHR) and body mass index (BMI). Data analysis was done using SPSS 16.0.
RESULTS: The mean age of the students was 19.3+0.78 years. Out of 80 students (male=46 and females=34), 13 (16.2%) were obese (BMI ≥ 27), 12 (15%) students were overweight (BMI ≥ 23) while 47 (58.8%) weighted normal (BMI 18.5 to 22.9). The WHR calculations showed that majority of the students (58.8%) were falling under low health risk category, 13.8% were in the category of moderate health risk and 5% students were under the category of high health risk. Obesity and overweight was more frequent among male students while female students were more dominant in the category of moderate and high health risks.
CONCLUSION: Frequency of obesity and overweight is more amongst the male students as compared to female students while more female students are at moderate and high health risk. Since medical students are over occupied with their studies, efforts should be made on promoting low intensity long duration physical activity.
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