Dietary intake and the dynamics of stress, hypertension and obesity in a periurban community in Accra
Objectives: This study intends to investigate the association between dietary intake, stress and prevalence of chronic diseases.
Design and Setting: The study was a cross-sectional design conducted in two poor peri-urban communities in Accra. Participants and outcome measures: A total of 90 households each with a male and female between the ages of 18 and 45 years were sampled, and their socio-demographic status, anthropometric measurement and fasting blood sugar were assessed. Blood pressure was measured and chronic stress/ anxiety was determined using the trait and state inventory (T stai) questionnaire. Three days repeated 24-hour dietary recall was also done. Analysis of variance and linear regression analysis were used in data analysis.
Results: About 28% of the subjects were hypertensive and 55.5% had high chronic stress. Hypertension was higher in males (32.2%) than females (24.4%) (p=.023) whiles stress was higher in females (60.9%) than males (50.0%) (p=.017). Hypertensive subjects recorded higher stress (51.02%) and hypertension was more prevalent in subjects with high stress (32.89%) especially in females (57.14%, p=.036). Hypertension increased with mean age whiles stress decreased with mean age. Hypertensive subjects recorded a significantly higher BMI and sodium intake whiles high stress individuals recorded a lower animal protein but a higher cereal protein intake (p<.05). Chronic stress was associated with intake of low animal protein and high cereal protein. Increased dietary diversity score was associated with decreased obesity prevalence (p<.05).
Conclusion: Hypertension, chronic stress, and obesity were linked, and affected by dietary sodium, animal protein, and dietary diversity of subjects respectively.
Keywords: Stress, hypertension, obesity, dietary intake