Obesity in adult residents of Accra, Ghana

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Ethnicity & Disease


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of obesity in Ghanaian adults. Design: 6300 adults, aged 25 years and older, were selected by random cluster sampling using electoral enumeration areas and listings of adults. Setting: Two urban and one rural community in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. Subjects and Methods: 4733 (males=1860, females=2873) adult Ghanaians participated. Height and weight were determined for subjects wearing light clothing and without shoes. Results: The mean age and BMI were 44.3 years and 24.4 kg/m2, respectively. Women, though younger, had higher BMI values compared to males (25.6 vs 22.6 kg/m2, respectively; P<.001). The overall crude prevalence of overweight (25.0-29.9 kg/m2 ) and obesity (≥30 kg/m2) were 23.4% and 14.1% for females and males, respectively. The rates of overweight (27.1% vs 17.5%) and obesity (20.2% vs 4.6%) were both higher in women than men. The age-standardized prevalence of obesity in Ghanaians was 13.6%. Obesity increased with age, peaking in the 55-64-year age group. The first to fourth BMI quartiles were: ≤520.6, 20.7-23.3, 23.4-27.2, and ≥27.3 kg/m2, respectively. At all ages, more females (32.9%) than males (12%) were placed within the 4th BMI quartile. Residents from the high-class residential area had higher BMI, compared to subjects from the lower class suburb. Also, urban residents had higher BMI compared to rural subjects. Conclusion: Overweight and obesity are common in Ghanaians, particularly among females, the elderly, and urban dwellers. Further work is needed to ascertain the determinants of overweight and obesity in Ghanaians.



Ghana, Obesity, Overweight, Population, Prevalence, Rural, Social class, Sub-Saharan African, Survey, Urban


Amoah, A. G. (2003). Obesity in adult residents of Accra, Ghana. Ethnicity & Disease, 13(2 Suppl 2), S97-101