Regional Variations in Overweight/Obesity in Nigeria: Whither Cosmopolitan-success and Conservative-failure hypothesis?

Tunde Alabi, University of Cape Town
Oluwaseun Badru, Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto State

About 2 billion and 650 million people are overweight and obese, respectively. This study investigates possible predictors of overweight/obesity among women in Nigeria, and how the predictors vary between northern and southern parts of the country. The northern and southern regions have perennial socio-cultural differences, which reflect in the dissimilarity in the ways each region reacts to social and health issues. Using the 2018 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey, the study analyzed a sample of 12,333 women with complete records of body mass index. Logistic regression models were fitted for the entire country and each of the two regions. We found that the prevalence of overweight/obesity in Nigeria was 27.6%- ranging from 6.8% in Yobe State (North) to 51.5% in Anambra State (South). Significant moderating effects of covariates were observed in the multivariate models. Living in the south, older age and being wealthy increases the odds of overweight/obesity. Significant regional variations were observed in the influence of education, employment, use of contraceptives, partner’s age and education, and rural-urban residence. Regarding the prevalence of overweight/obesity in the two regions, our finding runs contrary to the cosmopolitan-success and conservative-failure hypothesis. The study provides alternative explanations for regional variations in overweight/obesity in Nigeria.

Keywords: Health and morbidity, Culture, ethnicity, race, religion and language, Spatial analysis/regression

See paper.

  Presented in Session 94. Exploring hypotheses of Nutritional Status and Non-communicable Diseases