Published: 2017-05-27

A study on the prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome among students of a medical college

Srinivas G. N. S. V Kandula, Sasi Sekhar T. V. D., Shruti Kongara, Santhosh Kumar Arepalli


Background: Obesity is emerging as a serious problem throughout the world. The overall life expectancy is significantly shortened and the quality of life decreased in those who are excessively overweight. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is characterized by a constellation of individual risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Central obesity is a key feature of this syndrome, reflecting the fact that the syndrome’s prevalence is driven by strong relationship between waist circumference and increasing obesity. Awareness about MetS in medical students is the need of the hour.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Dr. PSIMS and RF, Chinnoutpalli, Andhra Pradesh, India involving 400 medical students. A pre-tested questionnaire, measurement of blood pressure, fasting glucose level, fasting lipid profile, anthropometric variables such as height, weight, waist circumference and hip circumference were taken. Metabolic syndrome was defined based on the International Diabetes Federation criteria. Data was processed using SPSS version 16. T-test, chi-square test, fisher’s exact test, anova and odd’s ratio were used for statistical analysis.

Results: 59% of the study population was female. The prevalence of obesity was 4%, with majority being males (81.25%) The MetS prevalence as per the International diabetes federation (IDF) criteria was 6% (n=24). The prevalence of MetS in males was 12.19% (n=20) and in females 1.69%. (n=4). The risk of developing metabolic syndrome is high among those who smoke, consume alcohol, consume junk food and sleep for longer durations.

Conclusions: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome is 6%. A significant association is established between life style habits like smoking, alcohol consumption, junk food consumption, sleep duration and MetS.


Central obesity, IDF, MetS

Full Text:



Kasper D, Fauci A, Hauser S, Longo D, Jameson J, Loscalzo J. Harrison’s principle of internal medicine. 18th ed. New York: McGraw Hill. 2012;1:622-9.

Sharma M, Mahna R. Obesity, metabolic syndrome and physical activity in Indian Adults. J Metabolic Synd. 2012;1:114.

Siu PM, Yu AP, Woo J. Effects of 1- year yoga on cardiovascular risk factors in middle aged and older adults with metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2015;7(1):40.

Kanitkar SA, Kalyan M, Diggikar P, More U, Kakrani AL, Gaikwad A, Agarwal R, Makadia A. Metabolic syndrome in medical students. JIMSA. 2015;Vol.28(1):14-5.

Yamaoka K, Tango T. Effects of lifestyle modification on metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Medicine.2012; 10(1):138.

Ferreira SRG, Gimeno SGA, Hirai AT, Harima H, Matsumura L, Pittito BAL. Effects of an intervention in eating habits and physical activity in Japanese-Brazilian women with a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Bauru, São Paulo State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública, Rio de Janeiro. 2008;24 Sup 2:294-302.

Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med. 2011;364:2392-404.

Rauno NC, Perez M, Mogrovejo FL, De Paula MK, Espinoza RC. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and associated risk factors in medical students of universidad central del Ecuador. J Endocrinol Diab. 2015;6:10.

Usha SMR, Chandrika N, Shetty HV, Reena RA. Study of the components of metabolic syndrome in young adults. Biomed Res-India. 2014;5(1):45-50.

Nillakupt K, Viravathana NA. Survey of metabolic syndrome and its components in Thai medical cadets. J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Nov;93:S179-85.

Ogus E, Tekindal MA, Ceyllan Y, Demirel M, Emicioglu N, Ercan I et al. Risks of metabolic syndrome in students of health sciences. Balkan Med J. 2013;30(3):296-300.

Jain J, Rao T, Desmukh P, Banalt S. Prevalence and correlates of metabolic syndrome in young population: a cross sectional study. J Diabetes Metab. 2015;6(3).1-5

Shin M, Won J, Yi H. Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in University Students in Korea. Ind. J Scien. Tech. 2015;8(16).

Flores JJR, Romero MM, Ramos MI, Flores S, Soriano NY, Garcia LI et al. Metabolic syndrome occurrence in university students from Mexico City: The binomium HDL/waist circumference is the major prevalence factor. Open J Prev Med. 2012; 2(2):177-182.

Ford ES, Giles WH and Dietz WH. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among US adults: findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. JAMA, 2002;287(3):356-9.

Sawant A, Mankeshwar R, Shah S, Raghavan R, Dhongde G, Raje H et al. Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in Urban India. Hindwani Publishing Corporation, Cholesterol.2011.

Cook S, Weitzman M, Auinger P, Nguyen M, Dietz WH. Prevalence of a metabolic syndrome phenotype in adolescents: findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,1988-1994. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157(8):821-7

Padmavathi P, Sailaja E, Renuka E, Gnanadesigan E, Mahendran KB. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Int. J Res Pharm Biomed Sciences. 2013;4(3).

Bhalavi V, Deshmukh P, Atram M, Goswami K, Garg N. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and cardio-metabolic risk factors in the adolescents of Rural Wardha. Int J Biomed Res.2014;5(12).754-7.

Rashidi AA, Parastouei K, Shahaboddin ME. Metabolic syndrome among medical university students in Kashan, Iran. Sci Res Essays. 2012;7 (41):3549-53.

Barrimah IE, Mohaimeed AR, Midhat F, Shobili HA. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome among Qassim University. Int J Heal Sciences.2009;3(2).133-42.

Selvaraj K, Sivaprakasam PA. Study on the prevalence of overweigh and obesity among medical students of Kanchipuram District. Nat J Res Comm Med. 2013;2(2):79-148.

Oh SW, Yoon YS, Lee ES, Kim WK, Park C, Lee S et al. Association between cigarette smoking and metabolic syndrome: the Korea national health and nutrition examination survey. Diabetes Care. 2005;28(8):2064-66.

Singh A, Shenoy S, Sandhu JS. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its risk factors among urban sikh population of Amritsar. J Post Med Educ Res. 2015;49(1):18-25.

Jayaraj, Nair PP, Nepolean R, Justin S, Nishanth K, Suresh D. Prevalence of overweight obesity among students of a medical college in south India: A Pilot Study. Ind J Clin Prac. 2014; 25(4):333-7.

Deotale MK, Ranganathan U, Akarte SV. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among medical students and their knowledge, attitude and practices about obesity. Int J Sci Reports.2015; 1(1):74-79.

Ju S-Y, Choi WS. Sleep duration and metabolic syndrome in adult populations. A meta-analysis of observational studies. Nutrition and Diabetes. 2013;3(5):e65.

Najafian J, Toghianifar N, Nouri Fatemeh. Association between sleep duration and metabolic syndrome in a population based study: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program. J Res Med Sci. 201116(6):8-32.