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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 743-749

Obesity, overweight, and underweight among urban Nigerians

1 Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria/University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Bayero University/Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria
4 Department of Medicine, Ekiti State University/Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
5 Department of Medicine, University of Calabar, Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C I Okafor
Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria/University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.144389

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Background: Disease burden from communicable and noncommunicable diseases is a significant health challenge facing many developing nations. Among the noncommunicable diseases, is obesity, which has become a global epidemic associated with urbanization. Objective: The aim was to evaluate the prevalence of weight abnormalities, their pattern of distribution and regional differences among apparently healthy urban dwelling Nigerians. Methods: A cross-sectional community-based descriptive survey was carried out in five urban cities, each from one geo-political zone of Nigeria. Multistage sampling procedures were used to select participants using the World Health Organization STEPS instrument. Ethical approval and consents were duly and respectively obtained from the Ethics Committee in the tertiary centers and participants in each of these cities. Analysis was performed using SPSS version 20 (IBM Corp., Amonk, NY; released 2011) with P value set at < 0.05. Results: A total of 5392 participants were recruited; of which, 54.5% and 45.5% were males and females respectively. Mean (standard deviation) age and body mass index (BMI) were 40.6 (14.3) years and 25.3 (5.1) kg/m 2 . Obesity, overweight, and underweight were found in 17%, 31%, and 5% of participants respectively. Significantly, while underweight declined with increasing age, overweight, and obesity increased to peak in the middle age brackets. Age of ≥ 40 years was found to confer about twice the risk of becoming overweight. The prevalence of obesity and mean BMI were significantly higher both among the females and the participants from southern zones. Conclusion: Obesity and overweight are common in our urban dwellers with accompanying regional differences. Attainment of middle age increases the likelihood of urban dwelling Nigerians to become overweight/obese. There is therefore the need to institute measures that will check development of overweight/obesity early enough, while improving the nutritional status of the few who may still be undernourished.

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