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Changes in Body Mass Index (BMI) During First Year among Undergraduate Students of a Medical College in New Delhi

Author:Preety Doley, Aravind Gandhi P, Thirunavukkarasu Balasubramanian, Geeta Pardeshi

Keywords:Body mass index, nutrition status, university students, obesity, Freshman 15

Type:Original Article

Abstract:"Background: The transition from secondary school to university is a critical period in student’s life which can influence their nutritional status impacting health in later life. The study conducted to assess changes in BMI after 8 months of admission among first year undergraduate students of a Medical College. Methodology: A descriptive longitudinal study was conducted among 150 MBBS students of a Government Medical College, New Delhi, during April-May 2018 in which their weight and height were measured at the time of admission and at 8 months of follow up. Results: There was significant decrease in mean BMI from the base-line (24.02 kg/m2) to follow-up (23.02 kg/m2) [t=-5.76, <0.001]. Compared to students with normal BMI at baseline, significant re-duction in BMI was noted among overweight [Mean change:-1.33 kg/m2; p=0.007] and obese students [Mean change:–2.21kg/m2; p<0.001]. The number of students who were overweight/obese had decreased from 71(47%) at baseline to 56 (37%) at follow up. Conclusion: There was a high prevalence of overweight/obesity among the newly admitted medical students with a decrease in BMI at follow up, especially among the overweight/obese individuals. Yet more than one third of the students were overweight/obese at eight months follow up.