OBJECTIVES: This study was undertaken to find out the prevalence of overweight and obesity, its risk factors, and association with different diseases in the rural females of Peshawar.
METHODOLOGY: This cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2010 on 2296 non-pregnant women age 15-70 years. Overweight/obesity was defined as a BMI (body mass index) of > 23 kg/m2 and obesity as BMI > 27 kg/m2. Results are presented as mean+ SD, %ages & odd ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) by using EPI-Info 6.0.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 1226 (53.4%) and 619 (26.9%) respectively. Out of 2296 women, 2054 (89.5%) were married females. Obesity was increasing with age. Hypertension and diabetes was three times more prevalent in overweight and obese women as 3.67 (2.62-5.16) p<0.0001 and 3.77 (1.73-8.46) p<0.0002 respectively as compared to non obese female. Married women, parity > 5 and low income were significantly associated as 3.46 (2.52-4.77) p<0.0001, 1.77 (1.42-2.20) p<0.0001 and 2.99 (2.22-4.03) p<0.0001 respectively with increased risk of obesity. More health problems were reported by the obese women
CONCLUSION: Obesity among women is a serious problem in this region. Marriage, parity, ageing are responsible for high prevalence of obesity that resulted in high frequency of diseases especially hypertension and diabetes in the female population.
KEY WORDS: Body mass index; Overweight / Obesity; Rural women; Peshawar-Pakistan.
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