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Background: Obesity has been associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, several cancers and numerous other Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among rural adults in North Central Nigeria
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study between February and May 2005 was done. Using systematic sampling technique, 750 subjects (=15years) were recruited, and data collected with a structured questionnaire. Subjects were measured for height, weight, waist and hip circumferences. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) were calculated. Subjects with BMI 25- 29.9kg/m2 were regarded as overweight and those with BMI =30kg/m2 as obese. Subjects with WHR ratio more than 0.90 for men or 0.85 for women were regarded as abnormal WHR.
Results: Subjects consisted of 385(51.3%) males and 365(48.7%) females (M: F= 1.05:1). The mean age of the subjects was 39.42±16.17years while the mean ages of the males and female were 35.23±14.09years and 43.83±17.04years respectively (t=7.55, p<0.001). The prevalence rates of overweight and obesity were 23.3 % (OR=0.09, P<0.0001) and 8 %( OR=0.01, P<0.0001) respectively. The prevalence of both overweight and obesity was 31.3% (OR=0.20, P<0.0001). The prevalence rates of obesity in males and females were 3.2% and 13.1 %( OR=0.21, P<0.0001). About 61.6% subjects had abnormal WHR (OR 2.45, P=0.001) of which 73.97% female subjects had abnormal WHR (OR=8.10, P< 0.0001).
Conclusions: Obesity and overweight are becoming apparent in the rural settings of Nigeria; thus, there is need for the rural dwellers to be educated on the risks of obesity and overweight.
Key Words: Overweight, Obesity, Body-Mass Index (BMI), Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR), Rural