Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Influence of westernization spells danger for public health in Nigeria

Date:
June 30, 2014
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
The lifestyle altering effects of westernization could be responsible for the high prevalence of obesity, and associated health risks in sub-Saharan Africa, researchers have found. The study found that over one in five women in Nigeria were reported to be overweight or obese, with this statistic increasing among demographics with improved social and economic indicators.

The lifestyle altering effects of westernization could be responsible for the high prevalence of obesity, and associated health risks in sub-Saharan Africa, researchers have found.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, by a team from the University of Warwick Medical School found that over one in five women in Nigeria were reported to be overweight or obese, with this statistic increasing among demographics with improved social and economic indicators.

Those women classed as having a higher socio-economic status were three and a half times more likely to be overweight or obese when compared to those in the lowest status bracket. Access to higher levels of education also increased risk, as did urbanization; 36.4% of women in urban areas were overweight compared with 18.8% in more rural districts.

"Obesity is now not just a western problem, but an African one as well" argues Dr Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala. "By becoming wealthier, better educated and urbanized regions of Nigeria are gaining the attributes we would more commonly associate with western societies. This has brought both a change in lifestyle and diet that is reflected in finding that educated, wealthy women are much more likely to be obese than those living in more rural, traditional areas."

Professor Saverio Stranges explained, "Urbanization, and the shift towards what we would consider to be more western habits, appears to come hand in hand with a more sedentary lifestyle and change in diet. More people have cars and drive where they might have walked in the past. The rise in internet usage within the cities sees more people sat down for prolonged periods, both at home and at work."

"This physical inactivity is worsened by a less balanced diet. An over reliance on energy dense processed foods can be highlighted by the growing presence of fast food outlets and the knock on effect is reducing the intake of staple, low calorie foods."

This, alongside data from several other countries, suggests that rising urbanization and improvements in developmental indicators leads to concurrent under and over nutrition in the population.

This stands to be a continuing problem. In 1995, only 35% of the African population resided in urban areas, a figure projected to rise to 54% by 2030.

Professor Stranges continued, "The worry is that Nigeria, like many Sub-Saharan African countries, is facing a major public health challenge with a rising number of overweight adults, whilst large segments of the population face problems associated with under nutrition. This dual burden will mean combating both malnutrition and the risks associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular disease."

Most epidemiological research in Sub-Saharan Africa has focused under nutrition, particularly within women and children who are deemed to be in the more vulnerable demographics of the population. This new study reflects a growing trend to look at other nutrition problems, and is the first of its kind to do so down to a state level.

The study used data from the 2008 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey. Around 28,000 women aged between 15 and 49 years old were sampled, of which 20.9% were recorded as being overweight or obese.

Dr Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala added, "Using such a vast representative population sample we are able to paint a more accurate picture of variances between the individual states for the first time. Lagos State, home to one of the fastest growing cities in the world, reported that over 50% of the women were overweight or obese, whereas the more rural Yobe State in the North East was closer to just 10%."

"Seeing this data broken down across the states will help to understand both the social and economic burden of obesity, and the future demand upon public health in each state."

When taking urbanization and other risk factors into account, the South Eastern states of Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and Taraba were shown to have the most significant spatial correlation to being overweight or obese.

With the exception of Kebbi State, those in the north and west had a markedly lower correlation with obesity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala, Saverio Stranges. Geographic Variation of Overweight and Obesity among Women in Nigeria: A Case for Nutritional Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (6): e101103 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101103

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Influence of westernization spells danger for public health in Nigeria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630193307.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2014, June 30). Influence of westernization spells danger for public health in Nigeria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630193307.htm
University of Warwick. "Influence of westernization spells danger for public health in Nigeria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630193307.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins