Journal of Biosocial Science

Research Article

THE PREVALENCE OF, AND FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH, OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY IN BOTSWANA

GOBOPAMANG LETAMOa1

a1 Department of Population Studies, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

Summary

The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of, and socio-demographic factors associated with, overweight and obesity in Botswana. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2007 using a multistage sampling method to select a representative sample of 4107 men and 4916 women aged 20–49 years. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the socio-demographic factors associated with overweight and obesity. Mean BMI values for men and women were 21.7 kg/m2 and 24.4 kg/m2, respectively. Both overweight and obesity levels were higher among women than men. Overall, 23% of women were overweight compared with 13% of men. Obese women constituted about 15% compared with only 3% of men. However, 19% of men were underweight compared with 12% of women. The main socio-demographic factors associated with overweight and obesity were being older, living in a city/town, being married and having attained higher levels of education, and these relationships were statistically significant at the 5% level. Although over-nutrition is prevalent among adult female Batswana, underweight remains an important public health problem for males. Programmes and other interventions aimed at concurrently addressing both under-nutrition and overweight need to be developed.

(Online publication September 17 2010)