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Dr. Sabade Pradnya Prakash*


Introduction: Late adolescents are tomorrow's adult population; assessment of their nutritional status is, therefore, primary to the prevention of non communicable diseases. Methodology: An ex-post facto study using a cross-sectional survey design was employed to find out the prevalence of overweight and obesity among young female college students in. A total of 2765 female college students aged 17-21 from 10 women's colleges in Chennai city were included in the study. Anthropometric assessments included body mass index (BMI) and body fat percent. Dietary intake was assessed using a three 24 hr dietary recall. Socioeconomic status (SES) of the sample was assessed using the Kalliath SES inventory. Results: Assessments of BMI indicated that only half the number of female college students (54.8%) had normal weight, while quite a few students were either overweight (13.2%) or obese (5.2%). More than a quarter of female college students were also underweight (26.9%). Mean energy intake of the students was (1828 kcal) lower than the Indian Council of Medical Research recommended values. The average intake of fruits, leafy vegetables, and other vegetables were dismally low. Conclusion: The findings reflect both a dual burden situation and an improper dietary pattern prevailing among the population of young female college students, necessitating the need for appropriate nutrition intervention.

Keywords: Body fat percent, body mass index, dietary intake, obesity, overweight.

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