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Background: In this study an attempt has been made to address the underweight status among a highly active population dwelling in a remote hilly terrain. The objective of the present study is to assess the underweight status in association with their physical activity level.
Material and methods: 400 adult Wancho were included in the study, ranging from 20-60 years of age. BMI for Asian populations classification was used for assessing the underweight status. Factor analysis was used to determine the contribution of fat patterning and body composition parameters in underweight. Physical activity was determined by using GPAQ Step-wise instrument version 3.2.
Results: A total of 7.69% of males are underweight, of which 0.9% are severely and moderately underweight, and the rest 5.88% are mildly underweight. Among females, 12.29% are underweight, of which 1.68% severely, 3.35% are moderately and 7.26% are mildly underweight. A total of 13.12% and 22.35% males and females respectively are preobese. No individuals in both sexes are found in the obesity category. Three factors are extracted from the model for both male and female, i.e., fat patterning (PCA 1), central obesity (PCA 2), metabolism (PCA 3). Among the males PCA 1 alone, independent of the rest of the factors, defines a total of 46.756% of the total variance, and among the females PCA 1 explains a total of 46.603% of the total variance.
Conclusion: It can be seen that among the Wancho fat patterning alone explains the majority of the variance in the model, independent of central obesity and metabolism. The majority of the severely underweight adult Wancho are found to be vigorously active on most days of a week. Especially, across all the underweight categories the females are mostly moderate to vigorously active in a week.