Obesity Prevention Behaviors in Asian Indian Adolescent Girls: A Pilot Study

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Purpose:The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate obesity prevention behaviors of Asian Indian adolescent females and determine the relationship of these behaviors to cardiovascular risk factors.Design and Methods:A purposive sample of twenty females, 14–18 years of age, was enrolled. Body mass index, percent body fat, waist circumference, and blood pressure were measured to assess cardiovascular risk. Measures of obesity prevention behaviors were physical activity, dietary and sleeping behaviors. To quantify engagement in physical activity, participants wore an accelerometer. The dietary intake was assessed using the web based SuperTracker. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was used to assess sleep behaviors. For data analysis, descriptive statistics was used for demographic characteristics. Correlations were calculated to evaluate the relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and obesity prevention behaviors.Results:The majority of the adolescents did not meet recommended physical activity levels. Most reported unhealthy eating behaviors with higher saturated fat intake correlating with higher percent body fat. The cardiovascular risk measures fell below normative values. However, more time spent in sedentary behaviors was related to higher systolic blood pressure, while poor sleep quality was associated with higher diastolic blood pressure and greater BMI.Conclusions:The findings support the unhealthy patterns of physical activity, dietary and sleep behaviors in Asian Adolescent girls and the need for promoting healthy behaviors in this at risk population.Practice Implications:The study findings provide a basis for education on healthy behaviors and development of culturally appropriate interventions to prevent obesity.Highlights:Studies document that Asian Indians are at high risk for cardio-metabolic disease.Adolescent Asian Indian girls are at risk for unhealthy behaviors that cause obesity.Physical activity, dietary intake and sleep behavior measures are below the norm.Adolescence is a critical period to initiate obesity prevention strategies in girls.Culturally specific interventions will prevent cardio-metabolic issues in future.

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