Research Highlight

Gender bender in obesity

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.20 Published online 6 February 2009

Generalised obesity is more common in men, whereas abdominal obesity is more common in women, according to a new population-specific study in south India1.

The researchers also found that the prevalence of obesity, both generalized and abdominal was alarmingly high in the population and abdominal obesity showed a greater correlation with cardiometabolic abnormalities. The subjects were taken from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES) carried out between 2001 and 2004. Anthropometric measurements, lipids and oral glucose tolerance tests were carried out.

"The findings suggest that in Asian Indians, measuring waist circumference is a better method of estimating obesity-related cardiovascular disease risk than body mass index (BMI)," the researchers say.

The findings lend support for the inclusion of waist circumference as a component of Indian Diabetes Risk Score (IDRS), which has been shown to be a very effective tool for predicting undiagnosed diabetes and also for identifying the metabolic syndrome in this population.

The researchers are planning a follow up to determine the relationship of obesity indices with cardiovascular mortality and/or morbidity.


  1. Deepa, M. et al. Prevalence and significance of generalized and central body obesity in an urban Asian Indian population in Chennai, India (CURES: 47). Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 63, 259-267 (2009) | Article |