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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119-121  

Assessment of energy expenditure among obese and non-obese children in national capital territory of Delhi

1 Professor Public Health Nutrition, Department of Human Nutrition Unit, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Research Officer, Department of Human Nutrition Unit, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication15-Jul-2013

Correspondence Address:
Umesh Kapil
Department of Human Nutrition Unit, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.114985

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How to cite this article:
Kapil U, Bhadoria AS. Assessment of energy expenditure among obese and non-obese children in national capital territory of Delhi. Indian J Public Health 2013;57:119-21

How to cite this URL:
Kapil U, Bhadoria AS. Assessment of energy expenditure among obese and non-obese children in national capital territory of Delhi. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Mar 23];57:119-21. Available from:


The etiology of obesity is multi-factorial in origin. The lack of physical activity has been considered as one of the important pre-disposing factor. Limited data is available on physical activity level (PAL) amongst obese and non-obese children. Hence, we conducted a school based study on assessment of PAL amongst obese and non-obese children in the national capital territory of Delhi in the year 2006-07. A total of 16,595 children in the age group 6-17 years were surveyed to assess the prevalence of obesity. The findings of this large survey have been published earlier. [1] Obese children were identified by utilizing body mass index based International Obesity Task Force classification. A total of 493 obese children were identified in the study. 451 children have given the consent and thus included in the study. PALs were compared between obese children (451 Cases) and non-obese children (451 Controls). The groups were matched for their age (±2 years), sex and socio-economic status. The methodology used for assessment of PAL was as follows:

  1. Each subject was administered with an oral questionnaire in which 24 h of a day were divided into 48 slots of 30 min each.
  2. Subject was enquired about the type of physical activity under taken by him/her in each 30 min time slot during last 24 h.
  3. The type of physical activities were divided into three categories

    • Light,
    • Moderate,
    • Heavy as per the published literature. [2]
  4. Each of the three types of physical activities (light, moderate and heavy) has specific metabolic equivalent values; light physical activity (PA) (less than 3.5 Kcal/min), moderate PA (3.5-7.0 Kcal/min), and heavy PA (more than 7.0 Kcal/min). [2]

  5. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) of each subject for 24 h was calculated using the FAO-WHO equation given for each age group. The following equations were used for estimating BMR from body weight * in children. [3]
  6. The BMR per minute of each subject was calculated by dividing BMR of a subject by a figure of 1440 (24 h×60 = 1440 min). BMR per minute of a subject=BMR,1440.
  7. The time spent on each of the physical activity by the subject was multiplied with the metabolic equivalent (MET) value for that physical activity and calorie expenditure on different physical activities under taken by the subject was calculated.
  8. The total energy expenditure (TEE) done by the subject on physical activities in 24 h was multiplied by BMR per minute and the TEE of the subject was calculated for the 24 h.
  9. The TEE value obtained was divided by BMR of the subject (as calculated in step 5) and PAL value was calculated.

The PAL value indicates the energy expenditure and is a composite index of physical activity patterns in a subject. The PAL values have been categorized in five classes. Each class indicates the type of life-style (physical activity pattern) of the subject. [2]

The distribution of cases and controls according to mean PAL value in different age groups, i.e., 6-8, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17 has been given in [Table 1] and it was observed that in all the age groups the mean PAL value for controls (non-obese) was high eras compared to cases (obese).
Table 1: Distribution of obese cases and matched controls according to their (PAL value) during last 24 h (on week days)

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Similar findings have been reported in an earlier study conducted in China. Other investigators also reported that obese children had lower levels of physical activity and were less physically active as compared with non-obese children. [4],[5],[6],[7]

In the present study, the TEE was significantly higher among controls (non-obese) as compared to cases (obese).

The findings of the present study suggest that there is a need of emphasizing among school children to increase their PALs, which possibly may have a role in causation of obesity.

   References Top

1.Kaur S, Sachdev HP, Dwivedi SN, Lakshmy R, Kapil U. Prevalence of overweight and obesity amongst school children in Delhi, India. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008;17:592-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Kurpad AV, Swaminathan S, Bhat S. IAP National Task Force for Childhood Prevention of Adult Diseases: The effect of childhood physical activity on prevention of adult diseases. Indian Pediatr 2004;41:37-62.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Report of a joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation 2011. Human Energy Requirement. Food and Nutrition Technical Report Series 1. 2011.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Waxman M, Stunkard AJ. Caloric intake and expenditure of obese boys. J Pediatr 1980;96:187-93.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Trost SG, Kerr LM, Ward DS, Pate RR. Physical activity and determinants of physical activity in obese and non-obese children. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2001;25:822-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Livingstone MB. Childhood obesity in Europe: A growing concern. Public Health Nutr 2001;4:109-16.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Page A, Cooper AR, Stamatakis E, Foster LJ, Crowne EC, Sabin M, et al. Physical activity patterns in nonobese and obese children assessed using minute-by-minute accelerometry. Int J Obes (Lond) 2005;29:1070-6.  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Table 1]

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