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The prevalence and correlates of abdominal obesity in female students

Keywords: abdominal obesity , socio-economic status , lifestyle ,

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Introduction: The accumulation of fat in the abdomen region has been described as the type of obesity that offers the greatest risk for the health of the individuals. Aim of the study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of abdominal obesity in female university students. Material and methods: 1129 female students, aged 19-24 were measured for stature, body weight and waist circumference. Each person's height and weight was measured. Underweight, overweight and obesity were determined on the BMI (body mass index) basis, in accordance with WHO standards. Abdominal obesity was defined as waist circumference equal to 80 cm or higher. To assess the socio-economic status (SES), the following factors were analysed: place of residence before entering the university, education of parents and self-assessment of their material condition. A questionnaires was used to evaluate nutritional habits and leisure-time physical activities. Results: In the studied group, prevalence of underweight was 11.1%, overweight and obesity - 7.0%. Abdominal adiposity concerned 11.2% of the surveyed students. No significant differences were found between socio-economic groups and the waist circumference and the frequency of abdominal obesity. The results show that the incidence of abdominal obesity is related to numerous unhealthy habits, which relate mainly to the nutrition way and physical inactivity. Conclusions: The prevalence of abdominal obesity was much higher than the prevalence of general overweight and obesity. The regular recreational physical activity reduces the risk of adiposity located in the abdominal region.


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