Rural urban prevalence and associated factors of overweight and obesity in adult patients seeking healthcare: a case of PCEA kikuyu hospital, Kenya
Obulutsa, Joyce N.
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Obesity is now of such epidemic proportions that its impact threatens the capacity of health services in the richest countries. The main objective of the study was to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of overweight and obesity among adult patients seeking healthcare at a level 4 health facility in Kenya. The study was conducted at PCEA Kikuyu Hospital, in Kiambu County, between February 2014 and March 2014.The study design was cross-sectional, descriptive and analytic in nature. The studypopulation comprised 275 outpatients aged above 18 years (excluding those with physical deformities) seeking health care at PCEA Kikuyu Hospital. Data was collected on socio demographic characteristics (age, sex, marital status, education, occupation,individual monthly income, and wealth status), nutrition status (Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference and Waist hip ratio), meal and food consumption frequency and level of physical activity. The sampling procedure was purposeful sampling of PCEA Kikuyu Hospital and exhaustive sampling in selection of respondents. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 67.2%, with the specific prevalence of overweight being 36.7% (n=101) and obesity 30.5% (n=84). The prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher in females (71.9%, n=84) than in males (62%, n=101 ). There was a significant difference in mean Body Mass Index between males and females (p=0.001). The factors that were significantly associated with overweight and obesity included sex (p=0.021), education (p=0.001), wealth (p=0.003), marital status (p=0.004) and age (p=0.000). Meal and food consumption frequency and physical activity level were not significantly associated with overweight and obesity (p>0.05). Over half (54.5%) of the overweight and obese respondents did not consume the main meals regularly (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The average daily energy intake was high at 3505 kilocalories. In addition, majority (58.9% n=109) of the overweight and obese respondents were engaged in physical activity but not as per the WHO recommendations. Logistic regression analysis picked age (18-37 years) and sex as the predictors of overweight/obesity, among the participants. The null hypothesis for this study was rejected that there is no significant association between socio demographic characteristics and overweight and obesity as results show that there was a significant association. In conclusion, there was a high prevalence of overweight and obesity found in this study, sex and age being the most predictive factors of being overweight and obesity. Food and meal frequency and physical activity levels were not associated with overweight and obesity. Recommendations from this study is the need for nutrition and health education by health professionals among patients at PCEA Kikuyu hospital on ensuring frequent meal consumption of all meals and engaging in physical activity on a regular basis within recommended time and intensity levels. In addition more research is needed on obesity in Kenya for informed timely interventions.