Anthropometric profile of urban adult black Malawians

  • BC Msamati
  • PS Igbigbi


Objective: To determine the anthropometric profile of urban adult black Malawians.
Design: A cross sectional study of adult subjects.
Setting: The subjects were recruited from two townships of Kachere and Bangwe, Blantyre.
Subjects: Eight hundred and ninety eight urban adults, 583 males and 315 females aged sixteen to sixty years. were randomly selected. Only those who could identify both parents and grandparents as Malawians were included. Pregnant women and physically disabled persons were excluded from the study.
Main outcome measures: Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), hip and waist circumferences and waist: hip ratio (W: H) were determined.
Results: The mean height of men was 166 (±6SD) cm and that of women 155 (±9.4 SD) cm. The mean weight, BMI, hip and waist circumferences for men were 60 (±6SD) kg, 21.56 ± 1.71
SD, 92 ± 4.4 SD cm and 75 ± 6.3 SD cm and for women 62 (±14 SD) kg, 25.54 (±5.59SD), 99 (±12SD) cm and 79 (±10SD) cm, respectively. Only women were found to be obese (11.43%,
BMI ³ 30). The prevalence of underweight in men (BMI < 20) was 20% and 9.21%, in women (BMI < 19). More than three per cent of the men were overweight (BMI ³ 25) but none was obese (BMI ³ 30) while 37.14% of the women were overweight (BMI ³ 24).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that obesity is a potential problem among urban females, and the roles of nutritional, metabolic and genetic factors are discussed.

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eISSN: 0012-835X