Prevalence of overweight/obesity and associated factors in adults in Erbil, Iraq: A household survey
Background and objective: Overweight and obesity are important risk factors for the development of some important chronic diseases and are, thus, considered leading risks for deaths. This study aimed to find out the prevalence of overweight and obesity with their associated risk factors in the adult population.
Methods: A household cross-sectional survey was carried out in Erbil city, Iraq from April to June 2017. The study involved 1480 adults selected through a multi-stage sampling method. A specially designed questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic and other relevant data from the participants through direct interview. The height and weight were measured for all participants.
Results: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 74.3% (33.4% overweight and 40.9% obese). There was a statistically significant association between being overweight and obese and older age groups, female gender, being married, low level of education, unemployment, not smoking, and not performing physical exercises. Following a multivariate analysis age (OR = 2.36, 95% CI = 1.60-3.49), female gender (OR = 2.17, 95% CI = 1.53-3.08), and married status (OR = 1.87, 95% CI = 1.20-2.90) were found to be statistically significant factors associated with overweight and obesity.
Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the adult population in Erbil city is very high. This alarming epidemic requires serious consideration of the health policymakers and public health specialists to plan effective and preventive and control measures. Health education is one way through which people's awareness of this important health issue could be raised.
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