Overweight and obesity prevalence and associated socio-economic factors, physical activity and dietary intake among women in Kibera division, Nairobi
Mbochi, W. Regina
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Overweight and obesity is an escalating problem worldwide yet extensive data especially in Africa is still lacking. The main objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity and associated ocio-economic factors, physical activity, and dietary intake among women in Nairobi, Kenya. A crosssectional design was used. Data on socio-economic factors of the women, their physical activity and dietary intake patterns, as well as anthropometric measurements were collected from 336 women aged 25-54 years from five socio-economic groups, in Kibera Division of Nairobi, using the stratified random tmpling method. Three indicators [body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage attd waist circumference] were used to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) swtware. Descriptive and inferential statistics such as the mean, frequencies and pet centages were used to describe the data. Chi-square tests were performed to e tablish the association between categorical variables, while analysis of variance ANOVA was used to compare the means. Correlation analysis was performed to e tablish the strength and direction of the relationship between variables. Multiple regression analysis was done to determine the independent variables that predict the occur, once of overweight and obesity in the study population. Age, parity and the educati. n levels of the women were significantly different by socio-economic groups (P<0.001 each). While age and level of education increased up the socio-economic ladder, parity showed an opposite trend. Income and expenditure were significantly correlated (r =0.474; P<0.001), with total monthly income and expenditure increasing up the ocio-economic ladder. Physical activity was negatively correlated with the socio-ec nomic group, (r-0.308; P<0.001). Significant differences (chi-square test) were obset ed between the dietary intake of the women by socio-economic groups. The c mbined prevalence of overweight and obesity was high, using the three indicators 68.6% by BMI, 78.0% by body fat percentage and 67.5% by waist circumference). F he differences between the combined prevalence of overweight and obesity by socio economic groups were statistically significant [(P=0.003) by BMI and (P=0.014) by body fat percentage] with increasing levels in higher socio-economic groups. Age and parity were significant predictors of overweight and obesity. Prevalence increased as the age and the number of births per woman increased. The mean values are all the three outcome variables (BMI, fat percentage and waist circumference) increased as the physical activity levels decreased. There were significant differences between the mean values of the indicators at different physical activity levels (P 0.05). The combined prevalence of overweight and obesity increased as the nun ber of hours spent on sedentary behaviour increased (by BMI). Frequency of cott umption of nearly all foods was not associated with overweight and obesity by all the indicators. Dietary protein and fat were the only macronutrients associated with overweight and obesity. The findings are a clear evidence of the rising trends of overweight and obesity among women in urban areas of developing countries. Overweight and obesity is not a problem limited to the high socio-economic groups, as the prevalence was found even in lower socio-economic groups. Age, parity, social-economic status and physical activity are all significant predictors of overweight and obesity in the study area. Efforts should be made to address the problem of overweight and obesity, by addressing the factors associated with it.