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Factors associated with body mass index among slum dwelling women in India: an analysis of the 2005–2006 Indian National Family Health Survey

Authors Patel ML, Deonandan R

Received 15 February 2015

Accepted for publication 7 December 2016

Published 7 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 27—31


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Maya Laxmi Patel, Raywat Deonandan

Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Background: Urbanization is increasing around the world, and in India, this trend has translated into an increase in the size of slum dwellings whose environments are suspected of being associated with poor health outcomes, particularly those relating to women’s nutritional status. With this study, we sought to determine the factors associated with Indian women’s body mass index (BMI) in slum environments, with special attention paid to women with tribal status.
Methods: A multiple linear regression analysis was performed on data from the Indian National Family Health Survey (2005–2006), modeling demographic and behavioral factors suspected of being associated with BMI, with additional focus on the measures of social class, specifically caste and tribal status.
Results: Increasing BMI is significantly and positively associated with frequency of watching television, having diabetes, age, wealth index, and residency status in the areas of New Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, or Tamil Nadu.
Conclusion: Although belonging to a scheduled tribe was not associated with changes in BMI, unadjusted rates suggest that tribal status may be worthy of deeper investigation. Among slum dwellers, there is a double burden of undernutrition and overnutrition. Therefore, a diverse set of interventions may be required to improve the health outcomes of these women.

Keywords: slums, India, BMI, women, caste, obesity, poverty

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