Background Obesity is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and certain types of cancer and other diseases. Among Asians, this risk is of special concern because they tend to occur at lower body mass index (BMI). The mean BMI of Filipino adults was observed to exhibit an increasing trend based on National Nutrition Surveys (NNS). In these surveys, weight and height of participants are measured by a weighing scale and microtoise, respectively.
Objectives Since the scale is heavy and entails additional space and cost during travel and the microtoise requires a levelled surface, this study utilized an automated health kiosk to estimate the incidence of overweight and obesity in the National Capital Region (NCR) as an alternative technique for community-based assessment.
Methods Sixty-eight apparently healthy volunteers from four NCR cities used the automated machine in a retail pharmacy outlet. Machine print-out was collected. Civil status and highest educational attainment were asked via a short interview.
Result Results show that the mean BMI was 24.5±0.5 kg/m2 indicating adequate nutrition with 42.6% being overweight and obese. This is comparable to the results of the 2013 NNS in the region (BMI=24.3±0.8, prevalence=39.9%). BMI was significantly higher among older adults (25.9±0.9 vs 23.8±0.5, p=0.034), and married participants (25.3±0.6 vs 23.4±0.6, p=0.034). A moderately high correlation between BMI and percentage of body fat-free mass (r=−0.688, p=0.000) was also observed.
Conclusion The automated health kiosk can be used an alternative device to estimate the incidence of overweight and obesity in the community. Validation of the results of the automated health kiosk vis-à-vis the weighing scale and microtoise is encouraged to provide an alternative mode of assessing overweight and obesity in the community. In addition assessments should not only focus on the incidence but should underscore the detrimental consequences of being overweight and obese.
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