Prevalence of obesity in Dakar


E Macia, UMI 3189, Environnement, Santé, Sociétés Faculté de Médecine, de Pharmacie et d'Odontostomatologie Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), BP 5005, Dakar, Senegal. E-mail:


The present study is to our knowledge the first to evaluate the prevalence of obesity among both men and women in Dakar. It was carried out on a sample of 600 dwellers of the Senegalese capital. The prevalence of general obesity is 8.3%, and that of overweight is 22.3%. The underweight rate remains high, given that 12.3% of the adults in this sample show a body mass index (BMI) of <18.5 kg/m2. The prevalence of central obesity is 41.2% according to waist to hip ratio (WHR), and 21.2% according to waist circumference (WC). These figures mask considerable differences between men and women and between generations. For instance, women are often more obese than men, whether it is a question of general obesity (13% and 3.9% respectively) or central obesity (37.5% and 5.5% by WC respectively). Moreover, prevalence of general and central obesity rise drastically with age, irrespective of gender. Thus, in addition to combating infectious disease and undernutrition, Senegal must now face problems associated with overweight and obesity.