How fit is Jammu's population?

Ages ago, people were fit and had comparatively less issues related to health because fitness was an integral part of the whole culture. Achieving resilience through physical fitness promotes a vast and complex range of health-related benefits. With the advent of technology and modernization, the physical activity has reduced thus giving rise to diseases.

In order to give a boost to the fitness sector and aware people about the day to day physical activity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Fit India' Movement' today, saying the initiative is the need of the hour and will take the country towards a healthier future. Achieving resilience through physical fitness promotes a vast and complex range of health-related benefits.

One commonly used metric to measure a person's body weight is Body Mass Index, or BMI. BMI is a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.

According to the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), a person is considered to be thin or overweight or obese, if their BMI score is less than 18.5 or more than 25. BMI scores between these values are considered normal as listed below:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

According to the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), between 2005 and 2006, around 0.3% and 0.0% teenage girls and boys were fat respectively in Jammu and Kashmir. The obese women and men falling under the age group of 30-39 were around 4% and 0.4% respectively. (See Chart 1)

Over the gap of ten years, there has been a huge shift in the percentages according to 4th National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) in 2015-16 in Jammu district. There is an increase of 45% and 36.3% in the share of overweight/obese population for urban women and urban men respectively.  (See Chart 2)

As per the data, it has been witnessed that rich and urban population is obese in Jammu and especially women above 30 are overweight.

This change can be attributed to the reduction in physical activity for older men and women in urban areas.

Whereas, the pattern is diametrically opposite for rural population. As per statistics, only 29.9%  rural women and 21.2% rural men are obese in Jammu.

The latest data of 2018-19 session regarding the fitness metrics will be published in much awaited National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) data in December or January. The survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round exercise conducted in a representative sample of households across the country.




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