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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Population-based survey of overweight and obesity and the associated factors in peri-urban and rural Eastern Uganda

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Barbara Eva Kirunda, Lars Thore Fadnes, Henry Wamani, Jan Van den Broeck, Thorkild Tylleskär
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2506-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Jan Van den Broeck deceased.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

BEK, LTF, HW, JVB and TT formulated the research questions and designed the study. BEK, JVB and TT elaborated the data gathering methods and database architecture. BEK implemented the study. BEK, LTF, HW, JVB and TT performed the data management and statistical analysis. All authors were active in the interpretation of the results. The article was prepared by BEK, LTF, HW, JVB and TT. All authors have approved the final article.



In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the rising prevalence of overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases co-exists with the high burden of under-nutrition. The paucity of data on adulthood overweight and obesity, disaggregated by socio-demographic characteristics and in rural settings in SSA calls for research. We determined the prevalence of underweight, overweight/obesity and associated factors among adults in peri-urban and rural Uganda.


A cross-sectional study of 1210 randomly selected adults aged ≥ 18 years was conducted in Iganga-Mayuge Health and Demographic Surveillance Site in eastern Uganda in 2013. Height, weight and socio-demographic variables were assessed. Overweight was defined as BMI = 25.0-29.99 kg/m2, obesity ≥ 30 kg/m2 and overweight/obesity ≥ 25 kg/m2. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with overweight/obesity.


Of the participants, 7 % were underweight (8.1 % of men; 5.9 % of women, p = 0.99); 17.8 % were overweight (12.4 % of men; 23.1 % of women, p < 0.001); and 7 % were obese (2.0 % of men; 12.7 % of women, p < 0.001). Overweight prevalence was 15.8 % and 23.8 % among rural and peri-urban adults, respectively (p < 0.001). Obesity prevalence was 3.9 % and 17.8 % among rural and peri-urban adults, respectively (p < 0.001). Factors associated with overweight/obesity were: being female, adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 4.3 (95 % confidence interval (PloS one 8:e75640, 20013) 3.2–5.9); peri-urban residence AOR 2.6 (1.9–3.6); being in age group 35–44, AOR 3.1 (1.8–5.3); 45–54 AOR 4.1 (2.3–7.3); 55–64 AOR 2.6 (1.4–5.0); ≥ 65 years AOR 3.1 (1.6–6.0); and having socio-economic status (SES) in the third AOR 2.8 (1.7–4.6), fourth 2.5 (1.5–4.2) and fifth 2.7 (1.6–4.4) quintile.


Overweight/obesity was prevalent among adults. Overweight/obese was associated with being female, being aged 35 years and older, residing in a peri-urban area and having a higher SES. The time has come to develop interventions to prevent and control overweight/obesity.
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