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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

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Prevalence and time trends in obesity among adult West African populations : a meta-analysis

Abubakari, A.R and Lauder, W. and Agyemang, C. and Jones, M. and Kirk, A. and Bhopal, R.S. (2008) Prevalence and time trends in obesity among adult West African populations : a meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 9 (4). pp. 297-311. ISSN 1467-7881

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the distribution of and trends in obesity in adult West African populations. Between February and March 2007, a comprehensive literature search was conducted using four electronic databases. Journal hand searches, citations and bibliographic snowballing of relevant articles were also undertaken. To be included, studies had to be population-based, use well-defined criteria for measuring obesity, present data that allowed calculation of the prevalence of obesity and sample adult participants. Studies retrieved were critically appraised. Meta-analysis was performed using the DerSimonian-Laird random effect model. Twenty-eight studies were included. Thirteen studies were conducted in urban settings, 13 in mixed urban/rural and one in rural setting. Mean body mass index ranged from 20.1 to 27.0 kg(2). Prevalence of obesity in West Africa was estimated at 10.0% (95% CI, 6.0-15.0). Women were more likely to be obese than men, odds ratios 3.16 (95% CI, 2.51-3.98) and 4.79 (95% CI, 3.30-6.95) in urban and rural areas respectively. Urban residents were more likely to be obese than rural residents, odds ratio 2.70 (95% CI, 1.76-4.15). Time trend analyses indicated that prevalence of obesity in urban West Africa more than doubled (114%) over 15 years, accounted for almost entirely in women. Urban residents and women have particularly high risk of overweight/obesity and obesity is rising fast in women. Policymakers, politicians and health promotion experts must urgently help communities control the spread of obesity in West Africa.