n South African Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease - Prevalence of obesity and body size perceptions in urban and rural Senegal : new insight on the epidemiological transition in West Africa - research article

Volume 14 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1811-6515



Background: The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of obesity in Dakar and in Tessekere, a rural municipality in northern Senegal, and to compare ideal body size between these populations. 

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in 2015 on a representative sample of 1 000 adults, aged 20 years and older in Dakar, and 500 adults of the same age in Tessekere. 

Results: The prevalence of obesity and overweight was higher in Dakar than in Tessekere. However, overweight and obesity rates of young women living in this rural area were close to those of young women in Dakar. At a body mass index of 27.5 kg/m², less than 40% of the men in Dakar and Tessekere found themselves too fat, compared to 50% of urban women and 30% of rural women. 

Conclusion: This study explains how and why obesity is becoming a rural health problem in Senegal.

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