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The prevalence and Predictors of generalised obesity in a rural farming community in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

C.A. Alikor
C.E. Nwafor


Background: Obesity, an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases has become a global epidemic even in the developing nations of the world. Epidemiologic transition with rapid urbanisation is important variable implicated in the rising prevalence of obesity. The prevalence of this major risk factor for cardiovascular disorders like hypertension, heart failure, coronary artery disease etc has not been richly studied in the rural setting of the Nigerian Niger Delta region
despite the increasing urbanisation taking place in same region. The aim of this research therefore is to determine the prevalence and predictors of obesity in a rural farming community of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria

Methods: A cross sectional study involving 388 subjects aged 15 years and above. Demographic social and relevant medical information and social information were obtained using a questionnaire administered by face-to-face interview. Anthropometric (height, weight, waist circumference, Waist-Hip-Ratio) and blood pressure measurements were done. Blood samples were taken for fasting blood sugar.

Results: The overall mean age of the study subjects was 40.88±16.52. The mean age for males was 40.66±17.23 and that for females was 40.98±16.17. The male to female ratio was 1:2.1. The prevalence of generalised obesity in this study was 3.4% .The females had a higher prevalence than the males (p= 0.02). The prevalence of obesity found to be highest in the 50 to 59 years age group. Pearson and Spearman’ rho correlation analysis of BMI with other parameters revealed that educational status, waist circumference, and hypertension had significant association while logistic regression confirmed these variables as well as physical inactivity as predictors of obesity.

Conclusion: The prevalence of obesity in this rural community is 3.4% and educational status, waist circumference and hypertension are important predictors.

Keywords: Prevalence, Predictors, generalised obesity, rural, Niger Delta