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Prevalence and sociodemographic determinants of adult obesity: a large representative household survey in a resource-constrained African setting with double burden of undernutrition and overnutrition
  1. Chibuike Ogwuegbu Chigbu1,2,
  2. Klaus G Parhofer3,
  3. Uzochukwu U Aniebue2,
  4. Ursula Berger4
  1. 1 CIH LMU Center for International Health, Medical Center of the University of Munich, Munich, Germany
  2. 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
  3. 3 Department of Medicine 4-Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
  4. 4 Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology (IBE), Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chibuike Ogwuegbu Chigbu, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka 402139, Nigeria; chibuike.chigbu{at}


Background The obesity epidemic has continued to spread across the globe involving even poor nations of the world.

Method Household population survey of adults aged 20–60 years. Multistage stratified cluster randomised sampling involving both urban and rural statewide representative population samples. Anthropometric measurements were taken using standard methods. Prevalences were weighted and multinomial regression analyses were done.

Results A total of 6628 individuals from 2843 households were surveyed. The weighted overall prevalence for underweight was 9.1% (95% CI 8.1 to 10.1), 65.1% (95% CI 63.6 to 66.6) for normal weight, 19.0% (95% CI 17.8 to 20.3) for overweight and 6.8% (95% CI 6.0 to 7.5) for obese. Men were less likely to be overweight (adjusted OR (AOR) 0.79; 95% CI 0.68 to 0.92) and obese (AOR 0.24; 95% CI 0.19 to 0.31) than women. Urban residents were more likely to be overweight (AOR 1.42; 95% CI 1.18 to 1.71) and obese (AOR 2.09; 95% CI 1.58 to 2.76) than rural residents. Each additional 1-year increase in age increased the risk of overweight by 1.012 (AOR 1.012; 95% CI 1.005 to 1.018) and that of obesity by 1.03 (AOR 1.03; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.04). The low-income class was less likely to be overweight (AOR 0.694; 95% CI 0.507 to 0.951) and obese (AOR 0.44; 95% CI 0.28 to 0.67).

Conclusion The prevalence of obesity and overweight in Enugu Nigeria is high and fast approaching that of underweight. Women, urban dwellers, older adults and high-income earners are at higher risk for obesity and overweight. The study provides robust information for public health policies towards the prevention of obesity in Nigeria.

  • epidemiology
  • obesity
  • public health
  • socioeconomic

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  • Contributors COC participated in study design, data collection, data analysis and manuscript writing. KGP participated in the study design and manuscript review. UUA participated in manuscript review. UB participated in study design, data analysis and manuscript review.

  • Funding The study was self-funded by the authors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethical committees of Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany and University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, Nigeria.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.