Overweight and obesity among Ghanaian residents in The Netherlands: how do they weigh against their urban and rural counterparts in Ghana?

Charles Agyemang, Ellis Owusu-Dabo, Ank de Jonge, David Martins, Gbenga Ogedegbe, Karien Stronks, J. de Jonge

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate differences in overweight and obesity between first-generation Dutch-Ghanaian migrants in The Netherlands and their rural and urban counterparts in Ghana. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS: A total of 1471 Ghanaians (rural Ghanaians, n 532; urban Ghanaians, n 787; Dutch-Ghanaians, n 152) aged >/=17 years.Main outcome measuresOverweight (BMI >/= 25 kg/m2) and obesity (BMI >/= 30 kg/m2). RESULTS: Dutch-Ghanaians had a significantly higher prevalence of overweight and obesity (men 69.1 %, women 79.5 %) than urban Ghanaians (men 22.0 %, women 50.0 %) and rural Ghanaians (men 10.3 %, women 19.0 %). Urban Ghanaian men and women also had a significantly higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than their rural Ghanaian counterparts. In a logistic regression analysis adjusting for age and education, the odds ratios for being overweight or obese were 3.10 (95 % CI 1.75, 5.48) for urban Ghanaian men and 19.06 (95 % CI 8.98, 40.43) for Dutch-Ghanaian men compared with rural Ghanaian men. Among women, the odds ratios for being overweight and obese were 3.84 (95 % CI 2.66, 5.53) for urban Ghanaians and 11.4 (95 % CI 5.97, 22.07) for Dutch-Ghanaians compared with their rural Ghanaian counterparts.ConclusionOur current findings give credence to earlier reports of an increase in the prevalence of overweight/obesity with urbanization within Africa and migration to industrialized countries. These findings indicate an urgent need to further assess migration-related factors that lead to these increases in overweight and obesity among migrants with non-Western background, and their impact on overweight- and obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes among these populations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-916
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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