Srinagar- Once considered a problem affluent to the Western nations, obesity has been rapidly spreading in recent years in Jammu & Kashmir as the latest data has flagged a worrying increase in the percentage of obesity and overweight across gender groups, particularly among men as the rate of such cases have worsened in the past half decade.
Pertinently, several of J&K’s nutritional indicators have also worsened since the fourth round of the NFHS, which was held in 2015-16. But the erstwhile state has hit a major demographic milestone when the percentage of obesity increased at a vicious average among both men and women, according to the latest survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare between 2019 and 2021.
The future looks tense as more men in J&K are obese. The rate of obesity has increased with a worrying average of 11 percent among men. Dropping the big health alert for J&K, National Family Health Survey has noted that 31.7 percent of men in the UT are obese or overweight.
The data in NFHS 2019-21, the fifth in the series, shows that among all age groups, the highest spike in obesity was reported among men whose percentage stood at 31.7 percent in 2019-21 from 20.5 percent in NFHS-4, 2015-16 report.
For women who are overweight or obese, the rate was recorded at 29.4 percent in NFHS-5 which is almost akin to the rate recorded in NFHS-4(29.3).
This is followed by the category of “Men who have a high risk waist-to-hip ratio (≥0.90) (%)” where the percentage was recorded at a grueling 60.7 percent. In this group, too, the number was higher in urban areas where the percentage stood at 66 percent compared to rural J&K where the rate was recorded in the fifth edition of the NFHS series.
As per NFHS-5 report, in the category of “Women who have high risk waist-to-hip ratio (≥0.85) (%)” the rate was much higher compared to men as the percentage for women was recorded at 87.8 percent. In this category, the rate was higher in Urban J&K where the percentage settled at 89.2 percent compared to rural J&K 87.3 percent.
The report has further revealed that the percentage of Women whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is normal was recorded at 66.4 percent while for Men whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is normal stood at 64 percent.
The Government of India in November last year had also released the factsheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others for India including J&K, clubbed under phase two of the 2019-21 NFHS-5.
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