Association between socioeconomic status indicators and obesity in adolescent students in Botswana, an African country in rapid nutrition transition
Article first published online: 10 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Pediatric Obesity © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 7, Issue 2, pages e9–e13, April 2012
How to Cite
Wrotniak, B. H., Malete, L., Maruapula, S. D., Jackson, J., Shaibu, S., Ratcliffe, S., Stettler, N. and Compher, C. (2012), Association between socioeconomic status indicators and obesity in adolescent students in Botswana, an African country in rapid nutrition transition. Pediatric Obesity, 7: e9–e13. doi: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2011.00023.x
- Issue published online: 13 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 10 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 1 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 26 MAY 2011
- University of Botswana Research Fund
- University of Pennsylvania Research Fund
- socioeconomic status
The purpose of this study was to examine two separate socioeconomic status (SES) indicators of obesity in Botswana, an African country that has experienced rapid economic development and where the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome is high.
We conducted a nationally representative, cross-sectional study of 707 adolescent secondary school students in Botswana. Measured height and weight were used to compute World Health Organization age- and sex-specific body mass index z-scores. SES was described by private vs. public school attendance and a survey of assets/facilities within the home.
Overall, private school students and those with more assets had a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than public school students (private: 27.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 20.4–34.5; public: 13.1%, 95% CI: 9.8–16.8) and those with fewer assets (more assets: 20.0%, 95% CI: 16.0–24.4; fewer assets: 11.2%, 95% CI: 6.6–16.9).
Public health interventions in developing countries may need to be targeted differently to low or high SES individuals in order to treat already high obesity rates in higher SES groups and to prevent the development of obesity in lower SES communities undergoing economic transition.