Obesity among health service providers in Nigeria: danger to long term health worker retention?
Introduction: Obesity is a global epidemic. There are rising rates of obesity and its associated disorders, especially in developing countries, including among Health Service Providers (HSPs). Obesity is associated with early retirement, increased morbidity and mortality. Thus, obesity has the potential of reducing long-term retention of HSPs in inadequately staffed health systems of developing countries. This study aimed to determine the magnitude of and factors associated with obesity among HSPs of a tertiary health care facility in Lagos, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out with a questionnaire, which included the International Physical Activity Questionnaire short form (IPAQ-SF). Obesity was defined as BMI <30kg/m2. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.
Results: 300 HSPs were recruited, of which 47.7% were medical doctors and dentists, 43.3% were nurses and other categories of HSPs. The mean age and BMI of the HSPs were 39.3(9.0) years and 27.7(4.6) kg/m2 respectively. Eight two (27.3%) HSPs were obese and 134 (44.7%) were overweight, 149(49.7%) had central obesity. After adjusting for confounding variables using multivariate logistic regression, age > 40 years (OR 3.51,p=0.003), female gender (OR 2.84, p=0.007) and earning a monthly salary ofE200,000 naira relative to 201,000-400,000 naira (OR 2.58, p=0.006) were significantly associated with obesity.
Conclusion: Obesity was prevalent among these Nigerian HSPs. This calls for concern, especially with the implication of loosing health workers to obesity related disorders and early retirement.
Key words: Obesity, health service providers, Nigeria