Nutritional Transition and Implications for Adiposity among Young Rural Men in India


  • School of Health Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune
  • Research and Training, Society for Initiatives in Nutrition and Development (SIND), Aundh, Pune



Nutritional Transition, Longitudinal Changes In Food Consumption, Adiposity, Prospeactive Cohort, Rural Men


The study examined longitudinal changes in food consumption associated with changes in adiposity among rural men in India. Young rural men (n=142) in Pune were followed-up decade apart (2005 and 2015) for anthropometry including Body Mass Index (BMI), Body Fat (BF), Waist Circumference (WC) and Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) and for Food Consumption (using FFQ). It was observed that decadal gain in mean BMI (3.77±2.60 kg/m2 ), BF (7.45±4.98 %) and WC (10.29±6.98cm) was significant (p<0.000) amounting to 19%, 49% and 15% of baseline values respectively. Consequently, prevalence increased for overweight (45%), obesity (33%), adiposity (36%) and central obesity (23%). Consumption of rice increased among (17%) participants while that of roti decreased among 9%, but increased for non-vegetarian foods, fried snacks and marketed sweets among 25, 53 and 22% participants respectively. Significant associations were observed not only for mean gains in BMI and WC, but also for higher prevalence and ORs for overweight among those who increased consumption of non-vegetarian foods (OR-4.34; 95%CI: 1.7- 11.1), fried snacks (OR-4.32; 95%CI: 1.5-12.8) and marketed sweets (OR-3.21; 95%CI: 1.1-9.1). Further, increased consumption of non-vegetarian foods also indicated two times and five times higher ORs for overall and central obesity respectively. These observations underscore role of specific foods in nutritional transition that increase obesity and demands targeted approach for its prevention by emphasizing nutritional awareness, promoting healthy dietary habits and physical activity among rural men. Moreover, the findings have implications for similar settings in other developing countries.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Anjana, R.M., Deepa, M., Pradeepa, R., Mahanta, J., Narain, K., Das, H.K., Adhikari, P., Rao, P.V., Saboo, B., Kumar, A., Bhansali, A., Jhon, M., Luaia, R., Reang, T.,Ningomban, S., Jampa, L., Bhunah, O.R., Elangovan, N., Subhsshini, R., Venkatesan U., unnikrishnan, R., Das, A.K., Madhu, S.V., Ali, M. K., Pandey, A., Dhaliwal, R.S., Kaur, T., Swaminathan, S. and Mohan, V. Prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in 15 states of India: Results from the ICMR–INDIAB population-based cross-sectional study. Lancet Diabet. Endocrinol., 2017, 1, 585-596. DOI:

Bhansali, A., Dhandania, V.K., Deepa, M., Anjana, R.M., Joshi, S.R., Joshi, P.P., Madhu, S.V., Rao, P.V., Subashini, R., Sudha, V., Unnikrishnan, R., Das, A. K., Shukla, D.K., Kaur, T., Mohan, V. and Pradeepa, R. Prevalence of and risk factors for hypertension in urban and rural India: The ICMR–INDIAB study. J. Hum. Hypertens., 2015, 29, 204. DOI:

Swaminathan, K., Veerasekar, G., Kuppusamy, S., Sundaresan, M., Velmurugan, G., Palaniswami, N.G. Non-communicable disease in rural India: Are we seriously underestimating the risk? The Nallampatti non-communicable disease study. Ind. J. Endocr. Metab., 2017, 21, 90. DOI:

Pradeepa, R., Anjana, R.M., Joshi, S.R., Bhansali, A., Deepa, M., Joshi, P.P., Dhandania, V.K., Madhu, S.V., Rao, P.V., Geetha, L., Shubashini, R., Unnikrishnan, R., shukla, D,K., Kaur, T., Mohan, V. and Das, A.K. Prevalence of generalized and abdominal obesity in urban and rural India-the ICMR-INDIAB Study (Phase-I)[ICMR-INDIAB-3]. Ind. J. Med. Res., 2015, 142,139. DOI:

Arabshahi, S., Busingye, D., Subasinghe, A.K., Evans, R.G., Riddell, M.A. and Thrift, A.G. Adiposity has a greater impact on hypertension in lean than not-lean populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur. J. Epidemiol., 2014, 1, 311-324. DOI:

Popkin, B.M. Nutrition in transition: the changing global nutrition challenge. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr., 2001, 10, 13-18. DOI:

Kearney, J. Food consumption trends and drivers. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biolog. Sci., 2010, 27, 2793-2807. DOI:

Acharyya, T., Kaur, P. and Murhekar, M.V. Prevalence of behavioral risk factors, overweight and hypertension in the urban slums of North 24 Parganas District, West Bengal, India, 2010. Ind. J. Pub. Healt., 2014, 58, 195. DOI:

Garg, A., Anand, T., Sharma, U., Kishore, J., Chakraborty, M., Ray, P.C. and Ingle, G.K. Prevalence of risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases using who steps approach in an adult population in Delhi . J. Fam. Med. Prim. Care., 2014, 3, 112. DOI:

Sathish, T., Kannan, S., Sarma, S.P., Razum, O., Sauzet, O. and Thankappan, K.R. Seven-year longitudinal change in risk factors for non-communicable diseases in rural Kerala, India: The WHO STEPS approach. PloS one, 2017, 12, 0178949. DOI:

Géa-Horta, T., Beinner, M.A., Gazzinelli, A., Mendes, M.S. and Velasquez-Melendez, G. Anthropometric changes and their effects on cardiometabolic risk factors in rural populations in Brazil. Cien. Saude. Colet., 2018, 23, 1415-1423. DOI:

Wenshu, L.U., Fengmei, C.H., Zhirong, G.U., Ming, W.U., Chao, H.A., Zhengyuan, Z.H. Xingjuan, Y.A. Comparison of the suitability of 2 years change in waist circumference and body mass index in predicting hypertension risk: A prospective study in Chinese-Han. Iran. J. Pub. Heal., 2014, 43, 1212.

Oommen, A.M., Abraham, V.J., George, K. and Jose, V.J. Rising trend of cardiovascular risk factors between 1991-1994 and 2010-2012: A repeat cross sectional survey in urban and rural Vellore. Ind. Heart J., 2016, 68, 263-269. DOI:

Lofley, A.C. and Root, M.M. Macronutrients Association with Change in Waist and Hip Circumference Over 9 Years. J. Am. Coll. Nutr., 2017, 36, 57-63. DOI:

Rautiainen, S., Wang, L., Lee, I.M., Manson, J.E., Buring, J.E. and Sesso, H.D. Dairy consumption in association with weight change and risk of becoming overweight or obese in middle-aged and older women: a prospective cohort study-3. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 2016, 103, 979-988. DOI:

Puttarathnamma, D., Jamuna Prakash and Prabhavathi, S.N. Consumption Trends of Processed Foods among Rural Population Selected from South India. Int. J. Fd. Nutr. Sci., 2015, 2, 162-167.

Kaur, P., Rao, S.R., Radhakrishnan, E., Rajasekar, D. and Gupte, M.D. Prevalence, awareness, treatment, control and risk factors for hypertension in a rural population in South India. Int. J. Pub. Healt., 2012, 57, 87-94. DOI:

Deshpande-Joshi, S.S. and Rao, S. Differential risk of hypertension among lean and nonlean rural subjects in relation to decadal changes in anthropometry. J. Am. Coll. Nutr., 2018, 7, 380386. DOI:

World Health Organization. The Asia-Pacific perspective: redefining obesity and its treatment. Technical report Series No. 894. Geneva (Switzerland): World Health Organization 2000, 8-11.

Lohman, T.G., Houtkooper, L. and Going, S.B. Body fat measurement goes high-tech: Not all are created equal. ACSMs Healt. Fit J., 1997, 1, 30-35.

Report of the WHO Consultation. Waist circumference and waist-hip ratio. Geneva (Switzerland): World Health Organization. 2008, 20.

Rao, S., Yajnik, C.S., Kanade, A., Fall, C.H., Margetts, B.M., Jackson, A.A., Shier, R., Joshi, S., Rege, S., Lubree, H. and Desai, B. Intake of micronutrient-rich foods in rural Indian mothers is associated with the size of their babies at birth: Pune Maternal Nutrition Study. J. Nutr., 2001, 131, 1217-1224. DOI:

Rao, S. and Kanade, A. Comparison of Gomez and Water low classifications in a follow-up study among pre-school children. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 1988, 42, 863-869.

Rao, S., Kanade, A., Margetts, B.M., Yajnik, C.S., Lubree, H., Rege, S., Desai, B., Jackson, A. and Fall, C.H. Maternal activity in relation to birth size in rural India. The Pune Maternal Nutrition Study. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 2003, 57, 531. DOI:

Lawrence, M., Singh, J., Lawrence, F. and Whitehead, R.G. The energy cost of common daily activities in African women: increased expenditure in pregnancy? Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 1985, 42, 753-763. DOI:

Finucane, M.M., Stevens, G.A., Cowan, M.J., Danaei, G., Lin, J.K., Paciorek, C.J., Singh, G.M., Gutierrez, H.R., Lu, Y., Bahalim, A.N., Farzadfar, F., Riley, L.M., Ezzati, M. and Global Burden of Metabolic Risk Factor for Chronic Disease Collaborating Group. National, regional and global trends in body-mass index since 1980: Systematic analysis of health examination surveys and epidemiological studies with 960 country-years and 9·1 million subjects. Lancet, 2011, 377, 557-567. DOI:

Ong, S.K., Fong, C.W., Ma, S., Lee, J., Heng, D., Deurenberg-Yap, M., Low, Y.L., Tan, M., Lim, W.Y. and Tai, E.S. Longitudinal study of the socio-demographic determinants of changes in body weight and waist circumference in a multi-ethnic Asian population. Int. J. Obes., 2009, 33,1299. DOI:

Ho, L.M., Wang, M.P., Ho, S.Y. and Lam, T.H. Changes in individual weight status based on body mass index and waist circumference in Hong Kong Chinese. PLOS ONE. 2015, 10, 0119827. DOI:

Kimokoti, R.W., Newby, P.K., Gona, P., Zhu, L., McKeon-O'Malley, C., Guzman, J.P., D'Agostino, R.B. and Millen, B.E. Patterns of weight change and progression to overweight and obesity differ in men and women: Implications for research and interventions. Pub. Healt. Nutr., 2013, 16, 1463-1475. DOI:

Lean, M.E., Katsarou, C., McLoone, P. and Morrison, D.S. Changes in BMI and waist circumference in Scottish adults: Use of repeated cross-sectional surveys to explore multiple age groups and birth-cohorts. Int. J. Obes., 2013, 37, 800. DOI:

Du, T., Sun, X., Yin, P., Huo, R., Ni, C. and Yu, X. Increasing trends in central obesity among Chinese adults with normal body mass index, 1993-2009. BMC Pub. Healt., 2013, 13, 327. DOI:

Xi, B., Liang, Y., He, T., Reilly, K.H., Hu, Y., Wang, Q., Yan, Y. and Mi, J. Secular trends in the prevalence of general and abdominal obesity among Chinese adults, 1993-2009. Obes. Rev., 2012, 13, 287-296. DOI:

Balkau, B., Deanfield, J., Després, J.B., Fox, K., Smith, S. and Barter, P. International Day for the Evaluation of Abdominal Obesity (IDEA). Circula., 2007, 116, 1942-1951. DOI:

Zhang, N., Du, S.M. and Ma, G.S. Current lifestyle factors that increase risk of T2DM in China. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr., 2017, 71, 832. DOI:

Subedi, Y.P., Marais, D. and Newlands, D. Where is Nepal in the nutrition transition? Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr., 2015, 26, 358-367

Sibai, A.M., Nasreddine, L., Mokdad, A.H., Adra, N., Tabet, M. and Hwalla, N. Nutrition transition and cardiovascular disease risk factors in Middle East and North Africa countries: Reviewing the evidence. Ann. Nutr. Metab., 2010, 57, 193-203. DOI:

Nasreddine, L., Naja, F., Sibai, A.M., Helou, K., Adra, N. and Hwalla, N. Trends in nutritional intakes and nutrition-related cardiovascular disease risk factors in Lebanon: The need for immediate action. Leban. Med. J., 2014, 103,1-9. DOI:

Togo, P., Osler, M., Sí¸rensen, T.I. and Heitmann, B.L. A longitudinal study of food intake patterns and obesity in adult Danish men and women. Int. J. Obes., 2004, 28, 583. DOI:

Taveras, E.M., Berkey, C.S., Rifas-Shiman, S.L., Ludwig, D.S., Rockett, H.R., Field, A.E., Colditz, G.A. and Gillman, M.W. Association of consumption of fried food away from home with body mass index and diet quality in older children and adolescents. Pediat., 2005, 116, 518-524. DOI:



How to Cite

Deshpande Joshi, S., & Rao, S. (2021). Nutritional Transition and Implications for Adiposity among Young Rural Men in India. The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, 58(2), 174–188.



Original Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)