Introduction: Understanding the determinants and perceptions of overweight (OV) and
obesity (OB) using both quantitative and qualitative approaches is important due to their
association with other chronic diseases.
Objective: To identify the sociodemographic determinants of OV and OB and explore
the perceptions of Ghanaian women about OV and OB.
Methods: Data on sociodemographic characteristics and anthropometry (weight, height,
percent body fat) were collected on 799 biological mothers of school children (9-15 y) in
Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. Determinants of OV and OB were identified in a multinomial
logistic regression using SPSS version 16.0. Mothers‟ views on OV and OB were
explored in a focus group discussion (FGD) with 29 mothers using 5 thematic areas:
knowledge; levels of concern about the issue; views on responsibility; possible
consequences; ideas on prevention of OV/OB. FGDs were audio-recorded and
transcribed. Analysis was done by noting the patterns in the comments and responses in
the transcripts using Microsoft Word and Excel.
Results: Mothers in Accra had higher education (p= 0.014), were less likely to have their
own houses (p< 0.0001), earned less income (p< 0.0001), have fewer children (p= 0.005)
and more likely to be heads of their households (p= 0.043) than those in Kumasi. The
overall prevalence of OB was 42.7% and OV, 35.0%. After adjusting for several
sociodemographic variables in the regression, traders were more likely to be OV
compared to mothers who were not employed (OR= 2.36; 95% CI =1.07-5.21). Women
in the highest income category were more likely to be OB compared those in the lowest
wealth category (OR= 5.36; 95% CI= 1.20-23.86). Mothers with 3 children were more likely to be OB than mothers with one child (OR= 2.71; 95% CI= 1.06-6.92). From the
FGDs, the mothers defined OV/OB as deviations from „normal‟/„average‟ weight; ideal
weight in relation to height and age; undesirable body proportions. OV/OB mothers were
more likely to perceive factors that they have no control over such as genetics as the most
important cause. There was a general preference for being just overweight to being
morbidly obese (BMO) because BMO gives the impression of impaired metabolism, bad
eating habits, inactivity and physical problems. The mothers believed that economic
development, sedentary behaviour, changing dietary patterns and apathy are mainly
responsible for the upsurge of OV/OB in Ghana. OV/OB mothers were more concerned
about the psychosocial and socio-cultural consequences (i.e. depression, weight
stigmatization) of OV/OB apart from clinical and economic problems. Mothers agreed
that OV/OB is a problem in Ghana and that both conditions are controllable. Education or
awareness and a general change of mindset about preferring a larger body size emerged
as the most important preventive measure.
Conclusions: OV and OB were prevalent among Ghanaian women. The women
interviewed had adequate knowledge about OV and OB. They perceived OV and OB,
especially OB as problematic conditions that mainly require changes in lifestyles and
environment. The country should take advantage of this knowledge and mount a serious
educational campaign about the need for adopting healthy lifestyles, improving eating
habits and increasing physical activities. Mass education should make people aware about
the health risks associated with OV and OB.
CDR, C (2021). PREVALENCE, PERCEPTION AND SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC DETERMINANTS OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY AMONG GHANAIAN WOMEN. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 15, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/prevalence-perception-and-sociodemographic-determinants-of-overweight-and-obesity-among-ghanaian-women
Coalition, CDR. "PREVALENCE, PERCEPTION AND SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC DETERMINANTS OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY AMONG GHANAIAN WOMEN" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 02 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/prevalence-perception-and-sociodemographic-determinants-of-overweight-and-obesity-among-ghanaian-women . Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.
Coalition, CDR. "PREVALENCE, PERCEPTION AND SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC DETERMINANTS OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY AMONG GHANAIAN WOMEN". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 02 Apr. 2021. Web. 15 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/prevalence-perception-and-sociodemographic-determinants-of-overweight-and-obesity-among-ghanaian-women >.
Coalition, CDR. "PREVALENCE, PERCEPTION AND SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC DETERMINANTS OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY AMONG GHANAIAN WOMEN" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 15, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/prevalence-perception-and-sociodemographic-determinants-of-overweight-and-obesity-among-ghanaian-women