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Type Journal Article - Rwanda Journal
Title Overweight or obesity prevalence, trends and risk factors among women in Rwanda: A cross-sectional study using the Rwanda Demographic and Health Surveys, 2000-2010
Volume 3
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 14-20
URL https://www.ajol.info/index.php/rj/article/view/147016
Objectives: Obesity has been a growing concern worldwide and in sub-Saharan Africa in particular. The objective of this
study was to explore the prevalence of and secular trends in the rate of being overweight/obese in Rwandan women and
the associated socio-demographic risk factors. Design: The study involved a secondary analysis of data from the Rwanda
Demographic and Health Surveys (RDHSs) conducted in 2000, 2005 and 2010. These are countrywide, cross-sectional
household studies conducted every five years. A stratified cluster sampling technique was used. Setting: A total of 10,421
women in 2000, 11,539 in 2005 and 12,540 in 2010 participated in the population based household surveys in Rwanda.
Primary outcome measure: Participants whose body mass indexes were ≥25 kg/m2 were considered to be overweight/obese.
Results: The prevalence of woman being overweight/obese increased from 13% in 2000 to 16.5% in 2010. The highest
prevalence rates in 2010 were found in Kigali city (35%) and other urban areas (31.5%). Women with higher levels of education
and from wealthier households were more likely to be overweight/obese. Using multivariable logistic regression analysis in
the full model, the area of residence, wealth, religion and the number of household members were found to be significantly
associated with being overweight/obese. In the adjusted model only the first three of these were still associated with a
significantly increased risk. Conclusion: Being overweight/obese is becoming more common in Rwandan women, especially
in those living in urban areas who are wealthy. Being overweight/obese is also associated with being Protestant. The reasons
for this association are likely to be complex and require further study. Health awareness campaigns should recognise the
importance of over-nutrition, as well as under-nutrition, and should promote healthy diets and the importance of physical activity.

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