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Obesity as a Public Health Problem among Adult Women in Rural Tanzania.

Keding, G. B., Msuya, J. M., Maass, B. L. and Krawinkel, M. B. (2013) Obesity as a Public Health Problem among Adult Women in Rural Tanzania. Global health, science and practice, 1 (3). pp. 359-71. ISSN 2169-575X

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For many developing countries, obesity and its sequelae have become a challenge of a magnitude similar to hunger and undernutrition. The main objective of this study was, therefore, to investigate the weight status of women in rural Tanzania with reference to season as well as the link between women's weight, food consumption, and attitudes toward obesity. Three cross-sectional surveys in 3 different seasons within 1 year interviewed the same 210 women, ages 17-45 years, from 3 rural districts of northeastern and central Tanzania. These surveys assessed body mass index (BMI), food intake, and dietary diversity through 24-hour recalls, women's attitudes toward obesity, vegetable production, and socioeconomic status. Although 71% of the women had a normal BMI, 7% were underweight, 16% overweight, and 6% obese. The BMI was correlated with the Dietary Diversity Score (DDS), the Food Variety Score (FVS), with the consumption of foods from the food groups "bread/cakes," "sugar," and "tea," and with the production of exotic vegetables. In a multiple regression model, FVS was directly associated with BMI. When asked to describe the typical characteristics of an obese person, women mentioned more negative than positive characteristics. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 3 times higher than that of underweight. Apparently, even in rural areas of Tanzania, a nutrition transition is underway. No direct association was identified between vegetable consumption and BMI. Although this study did not assess behavioral factors, such behavioral factors as activity levels as well as attitudes need to be considered, even in rural settings, to address all facets of malnutrition.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Obesity, Public health problem, Adult women, Tanzania
Subjects: Nutrition & food security > Obesity
Divisions: Other
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2016 08:05
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2016 08:05

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