Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences

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Prevalence and risk factors of obesity among practicing nurses at three selected hospitals in Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana

Y. Obirikorang, C. Obirikorang, O.A. Enoch, E. Acheampong, P. Tuboseiyefah, A.A. Miriam, N.B. Emmanuella


Prevalence and risk factors of obesity is increasing in several populations, and is becoming an enormous problem among occupational/professional groups. The study determined the prevalence and risk factors of obesity among practicing nurses in three selected hospitals in the Kumasi metropolis. This cross-sectional study recruited 825 nurses from Suntreso, Manhyia and Kumasi South Hospitals. Structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-demographic characteristics, and lifestyle behaviours of all participants. Obesity was assessed using body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratios (WHR) and Waist to height ratio (WHtR). The prevalence of obesity among nurses was 55.9% by WHtR, 35.7% by WC, 29.4% by BMI classification and 27.3% by WHR classification. The pattern of increased prevalence was higher among female nurses and nurses with high professional rank irrespective of the anthropometric parameters used. Logistic regression model indicates that taking meals late at night [odds ratio (OR) = 2.5 (1.1 to 5.7), p=0.0398], taking meals at stressful hours [OR=7.9 (2.1 to 29.8); p=0.0009], and fast food intake [OR=2.6 (1.1 to 6.0), p=0.0370) were independent risk factors of obesity classified by BMI. Taking meals at stressful hours [OR=3.33 (1.4 to 8.2); p=0.0091] and being female [OR=26.8 (3.5 to 207.7); p<0.0001] were significant independent risk factors of obesity classified by WC. Using WHR, being a female [OR=22.1 (1.31 to 380.0); p=0.0009] was an independent risk factor for obesity. Taking meals late at night [OR=2.4 (1.2 to 4.7); p=0.0121], taking meals at stressful hours [OR=3.1 (1.3 to 7.4); p=0.0148], and physical inactivity [OR=2.2 (1.0 to 4.5); p=0.0478] and being a female [OR=4.6 (1.7 to 12.4), p=0.0024] were independent risk factors of obesity using WHtR. Obesity among nurses in the Kumasi metropolis is on a rise and of public health significance. The need to foster healthy lifestyle is essential in health profession and pertinent to prevent obesity and future morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular metabolic risk factors.

Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences (2016) 5(3), 45-55

Keywords: Obesity, overweight, risk, practicing Nurses, Kumasi Metropolis

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