2. Biostatistician, Regional Institute of Public Health, Slave Route, Ouidah, Benin-University of Abomey, Benin.
3. National Programme Fight against Noncommunicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Cotonou, Benin.
4. Professor of Diabetology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Cotonou, Benin.
5. Professor of Epidemiology, ISPED, University of Bordeaux 2, France.
6. Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology, Laboratory of Chronic and Neurological Diseases Epidemiology (LEMACEN) Faculty of Health Sciences, Cotonou and National Programme for the Fight against Noncommunicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Cotonou, Benin.
Background: Data on overweight and obesity in general population in Benin is scarce. This study aimed therefore to assess prevalence and risk factors of overweight and obesity in Benin.
Methods: The study consisted of a cross-sectional survey, using the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s instrument for stepwise surveillance (STEPS) of non-communicable diseases risk factors. A five stage random sample of 25 to 64 years old male and female adults living in Benin participated in structured interviews and their size, weight and blood pressure were measured according to standardized procedures. Prevalence and means were computed with their 95% confidence interval and standard error respectively, taking into account the sampling design. Prevalence was compared by Khi2 and means by Student's t test. Univariate and stratified by gender multivariate polytomous logistic regressions were performed to identify socio-demographic and physical risk factors of overweight and obesity.
Results: A total of 6,773 adults participated in the study. About 50.50% of the participants were male. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 19.20% (95% CI 17.91; 20.66) and 7.25% (95% CI 6.34; 8.14) respectively. The prevalence of high risk abdominal obesity was 15.48% (95% CI 15.45; 15.50). The prevalence of overweight (22.41% vs. 15.99%) and obesity (10.68% vs. 3.61%) was significantly higher in females than males. Likewise, the prevalence of abdominal obesity was significantly higher in women (27.39%) than in men (2.73%). After controlling for confounding factors, risk factors of overweight and obesity in both women and men were older age, primary and high school/university education levels, occupation, dwelling and department.
Conclusion: Our findings suggested that overweight and obesity are common in Benin. However, some differences were noted between women and men as regards socio-demographic variables. These findings call for more in-depth studies. Moreover, policies and programmes targeting the identified risk factors and high risk abdominal obesity may prove helpful in reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Benin.
Keywords: Prevalence, risk factors, overweight, obesity, Benin