Body mass index-measured adiposity and population attributability of associated factors: a population-based study from Buea, Cameroon
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Background: Obesity is currently a global health challenge driven by a mix of behavioural, environmental and genetic factors. Up to date population-based disease burden estimates are needed to guide successful prevention and control efforts in African countries. We investigated the prevalence and population attributable fractions of overweight and obesity in Buea, the Southwest region of Cameroon. Methods: Data are from a community-based cross-sectional study involving randomly selected adults conducted in 2016. Body mass index (BMI) was categorized according to the WHO classification. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to investigate factors independently associated with obesity. Corresponding population attributable fractions were estimated. Results: Among the 1,139 participants, age-standardized prevalence (95% CI) of overweight and obesity were; 36.5 (33.7–39.3) and 11.1 (9.3–12.9) percent respectively. Mean BMI was 25.3 ± 4.3 kg/m2 ; women were heavier than men (25.8 vs. 24.4 kg/m2 ; p <0.0001). Factors associated with obesity were; female gender [odds ratio 3.20 (95% CI: 1.93–5.59)], age > 31 years [3.21 (1.86–5.28)] and being married [2.10 (1.60–3.51)]. At the population level; older age, being married, low level of education, high monthly income and physical inactivity accounted respectively for 11.9%, 21.8%, 11.6%, 6.4% and 8.7% of overweight and obesity among the women, while older age and being married explained 9.2% and 28.3% of overweight and obesity in men. Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in this semi-urban Cameroonian population is high, affecting over a third of individuals. Community-based interventions to control weight would need to take into account gender specificities and socio-economic status.
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