Prevalence and time trends in obesity among adult West African populations: a meta-analysis
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 9, Issue 4, pages 297–311, July 2008
How to Cite
Abubakari, A. R., Lauder, W., Agyemang, C., Jones, M., Kirk, A. and Bhopal, R. S. (2008), Prevalence and time trends in obesity among adult West African populations: a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 9: 297–311. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2007.00462.x
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2008
- Received 4 September 2007; revised 8 November 2007; accepted 5 December 2007
- systematic review;
- West Africans
The objective of this study was to determine the distribution of and trends in obesity in adult West African populations.
Between February and March 2007, a comprehensive literature search was conducted using four electronic databases. Journal hand searches, citations and bibliographic snowballing of relevant articles were also undertaken. To be included, studies had to be population-based, use well-defined criteria for measuring obesity, present data that allowed calculation of the prevalence of obesity and sample adult participants. Studies retrieved were critically appraised. Meta-analysis was performed using the DerSimonian-Laird random effect model.
Twenty-eight studies were included. Thirteen studies were conducted in urban settings, 13 in mixed urban/rural and one in rural setting. Mean body mass index ranged from 20.1 to 27.0 kg2. Prevalence of obesity in West Africa was estimated at 10.0% (95% CI, 6.0–15.0). Women were more likely to be obese than men, odds ratios 3.16 (95% CI, 2.51–3.98) and 4.79 (95% CI, 3.30–6.95) in urban and rural areas respectively. Urban residents were more likely to be obese than rural residents, odds ratio 2.70 (95% CI, 1.76–4.15). Time trend analyses indicated that prevalence of obesity in urban West Africa more than doubled (114%) over 15 years, accounted for almost entirely in women.
Urban residents and women have particularly high risk of overweight/obesity and obesity is rising fast in women. Policymakers, politicians and health promotion experts must urgently help communities control the spread of obesity in West Africa.