Comparing the Physiological, Socio???economic and Nutritional Status among Male and Female Undergraduate College Students of Metropolitan City of Kolkata

Author(s): Sengupta P

Background: In the present days, increasing trend of eating disorders are noticed among college students (both male and female) which can disturb their overall physiological and health status. It is more prevalent in metropolitan cities, like Kolkata. But, the existing literature about the physiological and nutritional status of the undergraduate college students of Kolkata is insufficient. Aim: Thus, the objective of this small‑scale cross‑sectional study is to report and compare the prevalence of malnutrition (both obesity and undernutrition) among undergraduate male and female college students of Kolkata, based on body mass index (BMI) and some direct and derived anthropometric measures describing the body composition of the subjects. Subjects and Methods: This cross‑sectional study conducted in October‑December 2011. The present investigation was carried out in randomly selected male (mean age 20.9 [2.25]) and female college students (mean age 20.3 [2.34]) of Kolkata. A total of 100 students of different colleges has participated, having the age of 18‑22 years. Measures included a total of 24 variables which included thirteen direct anthropometric measures and 11 derived variables. Results: Analysis of collected data showed significantly higher BMI, fat mass, body adiposity index, but, lower waist‑to‑hip ratio, conicity index in female students. Anthropometric data also showed lower waist circumference and abdominal extension in female college students. Conversely, male students showed a higher fat free mass (FFM), mid‑upper arm circumference (MUAC) and thigh circumferences (TCs). Conclusion: Based on the findings of the present study, it can be reported that higher body fat distribution and increased propensity of being overweight/obese was observed in female students, though they have shown lower abdominal fat distribution, which is a cue of female physical attractiveness. However, male students are found to have a higher FFM, MUAC and TCs, which is the indicator of strength and energy.


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