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Epidemiological Features of Obesity and Overweight in Grampian, Scotland

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Author(s): M Mobasheri | E van Teijlingen | W Cairns | S Smith

Journal: Iranian Journal of Public Health
ISSN 2251-6085

Volume: 34;
Issue: Sup;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2005;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Introduction: Obesity is an increasing medical and social problem, which affects all ages, both genders and all socio-economic groups in both developing and developed countries. It leads to adverse metabolic changes, raises the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus and many forms of cancer. Aim: Aim of study was demonstrating a descriptive epidemiological feature of obesity in Grampian, Scotland. Method: A two percent stratified random sample was chosen from populations aged 16- 74 years, living in Grampian. The self-completion postal questionnaires were sent to 8,088 people and 3,758 of them were returned. In total 3,754 cases have been used for analysis. A statistical analysis has been conducted on the data sets using Chi squared and regression analysis. Results: The highest percentage of obesity was found in the age group 35-44 and the lowest percentage to the over 75- year-old category for both men and women. The percentage of overweight is higher in males (41.6%) than females (29.5%). However, the percentage of obese people is higher in females (13.1%) than in males (12.0%). In total 53.6% of men and 42.6% of women in this survey are overweight and/or obese. The chi-square test shows significant differences in BMI categories by gender (P< 0.001). The chi-square test shows that there is a significant relationship between age and BMI. (P< 0.001). The linear chi-square test shows that older people tend to be in higher BMI categories (P< 0.001). The percentage of overweight and obese men and women decreases as education level increases. The percentage of overweight and obese is higher in retired people (52.5% and 13.1% in men and 40.2% and 15.8% in women) and in people who are in paid work or self-employed fulltime groups than other groups. Permanently sick or disabled people percentages are more likely to be overweight or obese. The percentage of overweight people is higher in people who own their homes or rented from a private landlord. The percentage of obese people is highest in people who rented from councils or housing associations. The Chi-square test does not show any association between BMI and deprivation in this survey. The number of non-white people in the survey is very small and does not allow for further analysis. Conclusion and recommendations: This study revealed all age groups should be considered as a population target for prevention of obesity. Social factors such as level of education and housing tenure are associated with obesity as reported by other studies. Permanently ill or disabled people are more likely to be overweight and obese. The percentages of obesity are highest in people who rented homes from councils or housing associations which may be associated with ageing or medical conditions leading to less activity and a sedentary lifestyle. Prevention of obesity should be a priority of health policy. The increasing rate of overweight and obesity in all groups suggest that the whole community should be the focus including all age groups. Health promotion interventions should focus on both healthy eating interventions and increase physical activity.
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