PATTERN OF OCCURRENCE OF OBESITY AND IT’S ASSOCIATED HEALTH PROBLEMS AMONG ADULTS IN IMO STATE.

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PATTERN OF OCCURRENCE OF OBESITY AND IT’S ASSOCIATED HEALTH PROBLEMS AMONG ADULTS IN IMO STATE.

ABSTRACT

Obesity is now of such epidemic proportions that its impact threatens the capacity of health services in the richest countries. The main objective of the study was to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of overweight and obesity among adult patients seeking healthcare at a level 4 health facility in Nigeria. The study was conducted at Umezuruike Hospital, Imo State, in Imo State, between February 2014 and March 2014.

The study design was cross-sectional, descriptive and analytic in nature. The study population comprised 275 outpatients aged above 18 years (excluding those with physical deformities) seeking health care at Umezuruike Hospital, Imo State. Data was collected on socio demographic characteristics (age, sex, marital status, education, occupation, individual monthly income, and wealth status), nutrition status (Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference and Waist hip ratio), meal and food consumption frequency and level of physical activity. The sampling procedure was purposeful sampling of Umezuruike Hospital, Imo State and exhaustive sampling in selection of respondents.

The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 67.2%, with the specific prevalence of overweight being 36.7% (n=101) and obesity 30.5% (n=84). The prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher in females (71.9%, n=84) than in males (62%, n=101). There was a significant difference in mean Body Mass Index between males and females (p=0.001). The factors that were significantly associated with overweight and obesity included sex (p=0.021), education (p=0.001), wealth (p=0.003), marital status (p=0.004) and age (p=0.000). Meal and food consumption frequency and physical activity level were not significantly associated with overweight and obesity

(p>0.05).

Over half (54.5%) of the overweight and obese respondents did not consume the main meals regularly (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The average daily energy intake was high at 3505 kilocalories. In addition, majority (58.9% n=109) of the overweight and obese respondents were engaged in physical activity but not as per the WHO

recommendations. Logistic regression analysis picked age (18-37 years) and sex as the predictors of overweight/obesity, among the participants. The null hypothesis for this study was rejected that there is no significant association between socio demographic characteristics and overweight and obesity as results show that there was a significant association.

In conclusion, there was a high prevalence of overweight and obesity found in this study, sex and age being the most predictive factors of being overweight and obesity. Food and meal frequency and physical activity levels were not associated with overweight and obesity. Recommendations from this study is the need for nutrition and health education by health professionals among patients at Umezuruike Hospital, Imo State on ensuring frequent meal consumption of all meals and engaging in physical activity  on a regular basis within recommended time and intensity levels. In addition more research is needed on obesity in Nigeria for informed timely interventions.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Globally, nearly one billion people are classified as overweight, 300 million of them being clinically obese (WHO, 2002). Nearly one third of the adult American population is obese, while in South Africa, more than one in two adult women are overweight or obese. In Morocco, 40% of the population is overweight (Lichtarowicz, 2004). The Nigeria Demographic and Health

Survey of 2009 show that the national prevalence rate of overweight and obesity for women (1549 years old) is 23% (KDHS, 2009).

 

The proportion of overweight and obese women is higher in urban areas than in the rural areas, with Nairobi having the highest prevalence (41% and 39%)  (KNBS, 2010). Numerous factors lead to overweight and obesity. Key among them is urbanization which brings with it a reduction in daily energy expenditure through reduction of physical activity and a shift to a higher caloric content diet (BeLue, et al., 2009). According to Nigerian medical experts, Nigerians today are eating an oilier diet than ever before, even as they rely more on personal and public vehicles to move even the shortest of distance. In urban areas, conveniences such as lifts and escalators have become a standard feature in all shopping malls making it unnecessary to walk up and down the stairs (Kimani and Okwemba, 2007).

 

The current obesity pandemic reflects the profound changes that have taken place in the society over the last 20-30 years that have created an environment that promotes a sedentary lifestyle and the consumption of a high fat, energy dense diet (Popkin, 2006) and (WHO, 2003). Worldwide, more than 60% of adults do not engage in sufficient levels of physical activity which is beneficial to their health. Lack of physical activity in leisure time, which leads to people spending increasing amount of time on sedentary behaviors such as television viewing, computer use, and excessive use of “passive” modes of transport (cars, buses and motorcycles) has also contributed (albeit partly) to problem of overweight and obesity (WHO, 2003). Physical inactivity is more prevalent among women, older adults, individuals from low socio-economic groups (especially in developed countries), and the disabled (WHO, 2003).

Urbanization has accelerated the spread of rapid motorization and the development of road networks in densely population urban areas. Developments of highly concentrated residential areas with little open spaces for people to engage in physical activity (Morisugi, 1992). White collar workers have more sedentary jobs than blue collar workers which could increase their risk of obesity (Kirk and Rhodes, 2011).

Obesity, recognized as a disease for more than 60 years, is now of such epidemic proportions that its impact threatens the capacity of health services even in the richest countries. Obesity accounts for 2-6% of total health care costs in several developed countries; some estimates put the figure as high as 7%. The true costs are undoubtedly much greater as not all obesity-related conditions are included in the calculations (WH0, 2004).

Although indirect costs to society can be substantially higher, they are often neglected. They relate to income lost from decreased productivity, reduced opportunities and restricted activity, illness, absenteeism and premature death (IOTF, 2010). In addition, there are high costs associated with the numerous infrastructure changes that societies must make to cope with obese people i.e. reinforced beds, operating tables and wheel chairs; enlarged seats in sports-grounds, and modifications to transport safety standards  (IOTF, 2010).

Excess weight gain is ranked the third greatest risk factor after smoking and high blood pressure for all premature deaths and disabilities in the affluent world (IASO, 2010). Yet the situation is even worse in poorer countries: widespread fetal and childhood malnutrition increases the impact of even modest weight gain on the development of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Poorer nations have 4-5 times more adults with overweight-induced illness than the Western world. The result is catastrophic medical costs for hundreds of millions. The epidemic of obesity in children is affecting every continent. The resulting social handicaps, inferior academic and employment prospects, and early medical complications are increasingly evident (IASO, 2010).

Overweight and obesity lead to adverse metabolic effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance. The non-fatal, but debilitating health problems associated with obesity include respiratory difficulties, chronic musculoskeletal problems, skin problems and infertility. The more life-threatening problems fall into four main areas: CVD problems; conditions associated with insulin resistance such as type 2 diabetes; certain types of cancers, especially the hormonally related and large-bowel cancers; and gallbladder disease (WHO, 2003).

Overweight and obesity in developing countries has been neglected as most attention is concentrated on famine and under nutrition or malnutrition of children [(Popkin, 2006);  (Schmidhuber, 2005); (WHO, 2000)]. If preventive measures are not put in place, the problem may escalate and overburden the health care system in these areas. Hence there is need to put measures in place to arrest the problem of overweight and obesity and prevent the negative consequences.

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Overweight and obesity is becoming one of the main public health problems in Nigeria.  Most of the data available is on women with limited data on other groups. The Nigeria Demographic and

Health surveys show that the national prevalence rate of overweight and obesity for women is 23% (KDHS, 2009). The proportion of overweight and obese women is higher in urban areas than in the rural areas, with Nairobi having the highest prevalence of 41% (KDHS, 2009). Through the development of various diseases caused by obesity, being overweight reduces life expectancy and shortens lifespan by three to seven years for an individual aged 40 and with a BMI of 30 or more (Fontaine, 2003. )The global burden of the diseases that are related to overweight and obesity makes it a priority.

 

Chronic diseases have been noted to strain household incomes as families in Nigeria bear the burden of caring for loved ones ailing from non-communicable diseases.  They further contribute to household poverty, as less income is channeled to investment, thereby stifling economic growth. This is compounded by the lack of social health insurance as well as lack of access to adequate health infrastructure, to care for those affected by non-communicable diseases (Chuma and Maina, 2012). Understanding factors associated with obesity is crucial for informing and developing effective prevention efforts, nutrition education and proper planning. The choice of a hospital setting is because of the chronic diseases that patients present which could be attributed to overweight and obesity.

1.3 Justification of the Study

Overweight and obesity are risk factors for a variety of chronic conditions which lead to increased burden and mortality (WHO, 2003). In Nigeria and Africa in general, there is limited up-to-date data on prevalence of overweight and obesity as priority has always been on under nutrition. Studies that have been done have largely been concentrated in the capital and major cities while neglecting other urban settlements (Amegah, et al., 2011).

 

With recent statistics putting Nigeria’s urban growth rate at 21 percent, with nearly one out of every four Nigerians now living in urban areas (Barasa, 2007), there is need to address the issues that accompany such changes, lifestyle change being one of them. Failure to do so would mean that no action might be taken in the near future, thus the problem is likely to escalate. Tackling the problem in its early stages may lead to reduction in its occurrence thus reducing the costs eventually. This can only be achieved if data is available to quantify the magnitude of the problem, hence the need to carry out the study.

 

1.4 The Aim of the Study

The study aimed at contributing towards improved understanding of overweight and obesity in Imo State.

1.5 The Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to generate data on the prevalence and associated factors of overweight and obesity in Imo State, Nigeria. The information can be used to plan for interventions for prevention of obesity and overweight in Imo State.

1.6 Objectives of the Study

1.6.1. General objective

To investigate the prevalence and associated factors of overweight and obesity among a rural urban population in Imo State, Nigeria.

1.6.2 Specific objectives

  1. To determine the socio-demographic characteristics of adult patients seeking healthcare in Umezuruike Hospital, Imo State.
  2. To determine the prevalence and associated factors of overweight and obesity among adult patients seeking healthcare in Umezuruike Hospital, Imo State.
  3. To determine the food and meal consumption frequency of adult patients seeking healthcare in Umezuruike Hospital, Imo State.
  4. To determine the physical activity level of adult patients seeking healthcare in PCEA

Imo State.

1.7 Study hypothesis

Overweight and obesity is associated with socio demographic characteristics, irregular food and meal consumption frequency and low physical activity levels.

PATTERN OF OCCURRENCE OF OBESITY AND IT’S ASSOCIATED HEALTH PROBLEMS AMONG ADULTS IN IMO STATE.

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