Body Composition, Dietary Intake and Physical Activity Level of Sedentary Adult Indian Women


Age related changes in body composition are associated with long term dietary intake profiles. Age related increase in body fat is primarily attributed to decline in physical activity and basal metabolic rate as well as dietary intake. The study was designed to assess the body composition, dietary intake and physical activity level of sedentary adult women of different age groups. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 152 sedentary adult women comprised of students and faculty from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. The relationship of body composition with dietary factors and physical activity level of women in four age groups i.e. 21 - 30, 31 - 40, 41 - 50 and 51 - 60 years was determined. A gradual increase (p ≤ 0.05) in anthropometric and body composition parameters such as weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, body mass index, fat mass and visceral fat rating was observed with the advancement of age. The lean body mass was decreased significantly (p ≤ 0.05) as the age progressed, the values for four age groups being 74.9, 68.9, 62.8 and 60.9%, respectively. Contrary to this fat mass increased with age, the corresponding values for four age groups being 15.7, 21.4, 26.6 and 29.2 kg, respectively. The percent adequacy of protein by four age groups was 69.6, 78.2, 80.0 and 66.3, respectively when compared to RDA while fat intake was much higher i.e. 245.5, 271.8, 288.4 and 250.8%, respectively. The energy intake was inadequate among all age groups, however, a significant (p ≤ 0.05) differ- ence was observed in daily energy consumption between the age groups. The mean physical activity level (PAL) of the subjects ranged between 1.49 - 1.60. The physical activity level values showed that majority of the subjects (87% - 94%) were having sedentary life style. Age is a crucial factor associated with body composition. A high fat mass and low lean body mass of the subjects was observed. Their diets were low in protein but high in fat. Majority of the subjects from different age groups had sedentary life style. A diet with higher protein and lesser fat combined with exercise can help in sustaining optimum body composition.

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G. Kaur, K. Bains and H. Kaur, "Body Composition, Dietary Intake and Physical Activity Level of Sedentary Adult Indian Women," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 11, 2012, pp. 1577-1585. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.311206.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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