oa South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - Factors associated with central overweight and obesity in students attending the University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana : a cross-sectional study : original research
Objectives : This study assessed the prevalence of central overweight and obesity in students of the University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana. Lifestyle factors associated with central overweight and obesity were also investigated in this study population.
Design : A cross-sectional study design was employed.
Setting : School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
Subjects : A sample of 552 students was randomly selected to participate.
Method : Waist and hip circumference was measured with appropriate tools and computed into a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Demographic and socio-cultural factors, such as age, sex, smoking status and coffee and alcohol consumption, were recorded. Physical activity was assessed using the World Health Organization Global Physical Activity Questionnaire.
Results : Generally, 29.3% of the participants had a normal WHR (44.1% males, 3.0% females). 60.9% (55.9% males, 69.7% females) were centrally overweight and 9.8% (0.0% males, 27.3% females) centrally obese. Age and smoking status were not associated with central overweight and obesity. Being female was significantly associated with a higher prevalence of central obesity. The prevalence of central obesity was 13.9% in non-coffee drinkers, 6.7% in coffee drinkers, 11% in non-alcohol drinkers and 0% in alcohol drinkers. Almost 95% of centrally obese participants engaged in light or moderate physical activity, and 5.6% in vigorous physical activity (p-value < 0.0001). Conversely, 55% of normal weight participants engaged in light or moderate physical activity and 44% in vigorous physical activity (p-value 0.0008).
Conclusion : Physical activity, female gender, alcohol and coffee consumption were associated with central obesity.
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