Prevalence and associated risk factors for obesity in Jalalabad city – Afghanistan

  • Khwaja Mir Islam Saeed
Keywords: Prevalence, Obesity, Blood lipids, Risk factors, WHO STEP, Afghanistan


Background: Obesity has become a major global health challenge due to established health risks and  substantial increases in prevalence. Being a complex condition it contributes to burden of chronic diseases by affecting virtually all ages and socioeconomic groups. This study aims to identify the prevalence of obesity and blood lipid profile and their associated factors in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan.

Methods and materials: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Jalalabad within May–June 2013. Multistage random sampling technique was used to enroll 1200 adults of 25–65 years. WHO STEP wise approach used to collect data on demographic and behavioral factors. Physical measurement including height, weight and blood pressure was collected and blood samples were drawn in fast condition for biochemical measurements including blood lipids. Obesity was defined and  categorized using body mass index. Descriptive and inferential analyses were performed using SPSS v.20.

Results: The overall prevalence of obesity was 27.4% with significant difference between sexes (35.9% females and 16% males). The mean age was 38.76± 11.06 years with 60% female, 71.5% illiterate and 6.3% of smokers. Average total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, and total glycerides  were 198.8 mg/dL, 39.2 mg/dL, 122.9 mg/dL and 186.1 mg/dL respectively. Age, sex, education status, use of mouth snuff, rice as a meal, nature of job, diabetes and high blood pressure were significantly associated with obesity.

Conclusion: Approximately one third of adult population in Jalalabad city is suffering from obesity which is a cause of concern. Blood lipid profile is either borderline or more than average among study  participants which could contribute to non-communicable diseases. Measures such as raising awareness and lifestyle  modifications may help to reduce the burden of obesity among Jalalabad adults.

KEYWORDS Prevalence; Obesity; Blood lipids; Risk factors; WHO STEP; Afghanistan



Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2090-2948
print ISSN: 1110-0834