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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 11, No. 3, 2011, pp. 4828 -4846
Bioline Code: nd11032
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2011, pp. 4828 -4846

 en Prevalence And Determinants Of Overweight And Obesity In Adult Residents Of Cape Coast, Ghana: A Hospital-Based Study
Amegah, A.K.; Lumor, S. & Vidogo, F.


The prevalence of obesity in developing countries is more noticeable in urban areas with as much as 20-50% of the urban population of African countries estimated to be either overweight or obese. Studies investigating the prevalence of overweight and obesity in developing countries have mainly been concentrated in the capital and major cities of these countries whilst neglecting other urban settlements. It is against this background that a hospital-based cross-sectional design was employed to determine the overweight and obesity prevalence in Cape Coast, an urban settlement in the Central Region of Ghana, to identify the vulnerable groups and factors associated with the disease within this urban population. Anthropometric methods and structured questionnaire were used to determine the BMI status of 300 adults sampled from the Out Patients Department of the main hospital in the area and establish the predisposing factors of the disease in the area. Prevalence of overweight and obesity within this population was relatively high with rates of 21% and 17%, respectively. Several socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics, and parity were found to be associated with overweight and obesity in the area. Of the socio-demographic parameters studied age, sex, occupation, marital status and ethnic origin of respondents were highly associated with overweight and obesity (p<0.05). Obesity prevalence increased with age with middle age adults (46-55 years) found to be most vulnerable. Females were more likely to be overweight or obese than their male counterparts (p<0.05). Snacking in-between meals, time of supper and lack of exercise were the lifestyle characteristics found to be associated with overweight and obesity in the area (p<0.05). The multivariate analysis, however, found the association with snacking and exercise to be confounded by sex and age of respondents. Exercise nevertheless remained a strong determinant of obesity in the area with respondents who did not exercise found to be about four times more likely to be obese than their counterparts who did exercise (OR = 4.174; CI = 1.886 – 9.234; p<0.05). A concerted effort by health professionals is thus needed to reduce the overweight and obesity burden and associated co-morbidities in this urban population.

Prevalence, Overweight, Obesity, BMI, Exercise

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