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Keywords:

  • gender;
  • obesity;
  • physical inactivity;
  • urbanization

Summary

Rapid urbanization and accompanying lifestyle changes in India lead to transition in non-communicable disease risk factors.

A survey was done in urban, urban slum and rural population of Haryana, India, in a sample of 4129 men and 3852 women using WHO STEPS questionnaire.

A very high proportion of all the three populations reported inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables. Rural men reported five times physical activity as compared with urban and urban slum men and rural women reported seven times physical activity as compared with women in the other two settings. Mean body mass index (BMI) was highest among urban men (22.8 kg m−2) followed by urban slum (21.0 kg m−2) and rural men (20.6 kg m−2) (P-value < 0.01). Similar trend was seen for women but at a higher level than men. Prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg m−2) was highest for urban population (male = 5.5%, female = 12.6%) followed by urban slum (male = 1.9%, female = 7.2%) and rural populations (male = 1.6%, female = 3.8%).

Urbanization increases the prevalence of the studied non-communicable disease risk factors, with women showing a greater increase as compared with men. Non-communicable disease control strategy needs to address urbanization and warrants gender sensitive strategies specifically targeting women.