OJEpi  Vol.10 No.3 , August 2020
Increasing Trend of Overweight and Obesity in a Rural Community in South East Nigeria
Abstract: Background: There is a global trend of increasing obesity, affecting mostly the high-and-middle income countries. Obesity was more prevalent in the urban areas but recent studies have suggested a disproportionate increase in obesity in the rural areas outstripping that of urban areas thus fueling the global obesity epidemic. This cross-sectional community study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of obesity in a rural community in South east Nigeria using Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference and waist-hip ratio. Materials and Methods: Adults (≥18 years) in a rural community in Enugu State were studied in July 2019. The weight, height, waist circumference and hip circumference of the participants were taken. The BMI was calculated from the weight and height and the waist-hip ratio was determined for each participant. Results: A total of 210 participants were studied and analyzed. The prevalence of obesity and overweight by BMI was 10.9% and 28.0% respectively. There was no difference in the prevalence of obesity in males and females (10.9% vs 10.9%) and overweight (27% for males and 28% for females). Significantly more females (40%) than males (7.3%) were obese by sex specific waist circumference (p < 0.001). There was no difference in the proportions of males (49%) and females (53.3%) that were obese by sex specific waist/hip ratio, P-Value 0.575. There was no difference in the BMI between the age groups for males (p = 0.629) and females (p = 0.439). However, middle aged females (40 - 59 years) had higher waist circumference than the younger and older females (p = 0.025), while the older males (60 - 79 years) had higher waist-hip ratio than younger age groups p = 0.002. Conclusions: The result of this study shows an increasing trend of obesity and overweight in a farming rural community in South east Nigeria compared with the prevalence recorded in the region in the past.
Cite this paper: Ijoma, U. , Njoku, P. , Arodiwe, E. and Ijoma, C. (2020) Increasing Trend of Overweight and Obesity in a Rural Community in South East Nigeria. Open Journal of Epidemiology, 10, 323-333. doi: 10.4236/ojepi.2020.103026.

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