Overweight and obesity are major public health problems worldwide, with projections suggesting a proportional increase in the number of affected individuals in developing countries by the year 2030. Evidence-based preventive strategies are needed to reduce the burden of overweight and obesity in developing countries. We assessed the prevalence of, and factors associated with overweight and obesity in selected health areas in West Cameroon.
Data were collected from a community-based cross-sectional study, involving the consecutive recruitment of participants aged 18 years or older. Overweight and obesity were defined according to the WHO classification. The statistical software R (version 3.5.1, The R Foundation for statistical computing, Vienna, Austria) was used for statistical analysis. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to assess independent factors associated with overweight and obesity, and obesity.
Records of 485 participants were included for analysis. The age and sex-standardized prevalence of overweight, obesity, and overweight and obesity were 31.1% (95% CI, 27.0–35.2), 18.9% (95% CI, 14.9–22.9), and 50.1% (95% CI, 45.7–54.6), respectively. In multivariable analysis, being female (adjusted OR [aOR] = 2.79, 95% CI = 1.69–4.63), married (aOR = 3.90, 95% CI = 2.23–6.95), and having secondary or tertiary education (aOR = 3.27, 95% CI = 1.77–6.17) were associated with higher odds of overweight and obesity, while current smokers had lower odds of overweight and obesity (aOR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.16–0.82) when compared to their respective counterpart. Compared to their respective reference categories, being female being (aOR = 3.74, 95% CI = 2.01–7.30), married (aOR = 2.58, 95% CI = 1.37–5.05) and having secondary or tertiary education (aOR = 2.03, 95% CI = 1.00–4.23) were associated with higher odds of obesity after adjustments for confounding.
We observed a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in this study. The odds of overweight and obesity was higher in females, married participants, and those with higher levels of education. Community-based interventions to control overweight and obesity should consider targeting these groups.