oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - The relationship between body mass index, energy intake and level of physical activity of HIV positive women (25-44 years) in Mangaung



<I>Objective:</I> To determine the relationship between body mass index (BMI), energy intake and levels of physical activity of HIV negative and HIV positive women. <br><i>Design:</i> Cross sectional study. <br><i>Methodology:</i> A random sample of 500 pre-menopausal women within the two age group categories of 25-34 and 35-44 years was selected. Data on physical activity was obtained using an adapted Baecke questionnaire and categorized into low, medium, and high levels of physical activity. Weight and height were used to calculate BMI. Dietary intake was determined by means of a standardized food frequency questionnaire. <br><i>Results:</i> Sixty-one percent of younger women and 38% of older women were HIV infected. The vast majority of women (91%) had low levels of physical activity, while only 9% of the sample had physical activity levels that fell within the normal to high category. More than 50% of respondents were either overweight or obese (BMI above 25 kg/m<sup>2</sup>). BMI of HIV positive younger women was, however, significantly lower than that of HIV negative women. Median energy intakes were high (more than 10 000 kJ) for both HIV positive and HIV negative women. <br><i>Conclusions:</i> Reverting to a more traditional lifestyle, including diet and physical activity, could assist in addressing unfavorable BMI parameters of these women and improve health status and quality of life of HIV infected women.


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