Public Health Nutrition

Social, economic, political and environmental determinants

Prevalence of obesity and associated sociodemographic and lifestyle factors in Morocco

K El Rhazia1 c1, C Nejjaria1, A Zidouha2, R Bakkalia2, M Berrahoa1 and P Barberger Gateaua3

a1 Laboratoire d’Epidémiologie, Recherche Clinique et Santé Communautaire, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, Km2.2 Route de Sidi Harazem, BP 1893, 30000 Fès, Maroc

a2 Association Lalla Salma de Lutte contre le Cancer, Rabat, Maroc

a3 Inserm, Univ Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France


Objective In Morocco, the association between obesity/overweight and socio-demographic and lifestyle factors is poorly understood. The present study aimed to investigate this association in a representative sample of the Moroccan population aged 18 years and above.

Design This is a cross-sectional study using a questionnaire including demographic, socio-economic and physical activity items. Height and weight were measured and BMI was computed. The association between obesity (BMI ≥ 30·0 kg/m2) or overweight (25·0 ≤ BMI < 29·9 kg/m2) and the other variables was analysed using multiple binomial logistic regression, separately in men and women.

Setting The whole Moroccan territory.

Subjects A total of 2891 subjects took part in the survey (1430 men and 1461 women).

Results The prevalence of obesity was 20·9 % in women and 6·0 % in men (P < 0·0001). The prevalence of overweight was 32·9 % in women v. 26·8 % in men (P < 0·0001). In women, the risk of obesity and overweight increased with age, with the highest risk being in individuals aged 45–54 years (OR = 3·02, 95 % CI 2·06, 4·44) compared to individuals <35 years old. Married women were more prone to obesity and overweight (OR = 2·42, 95 % CI 1·50, 3·91) than single women. In men, the risk of obesity and overweight increased with average family income (OR = 2·62, 95 % CI 1·40, 4·87 for family income ≥5000 MAD/month compared to <2000 MAD/month) and in married persons (OR = 3·75, 95 % CI 1·78, 7·81) compared to single individuals.

Conclusions These results contribute to target groups in whom prevention programmes could be implemented.

(Received December 16 2009)

(Accepted May 13 2010)

(Online publication July 06 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Email