Prevalence of obesity and associated risk factors in a Turkish population (trabzon city, Turkey)

Cihangir Erem, Cengiz Arslan, Arif Hacihasanoglu, Orhan Deger, Murat Topbas, Kubilay Ukinc, Halil Onder Ersöz, Münir Telatar
Obesity Research 2004, 12 (7): 1117-27

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity (general and central) in the Trabzon Region and its associations with demographic factors (age, sex, marital status, reproductive history in women, and level of education), socioeconomic factors (household income and occupation), family history of selected medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, and obesity), lifestyle factors (smoking habits, physical activity, and alcohol consumption), and hypertension in the adult population.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: A sample of households was systematically selected from the central province of Trabzon and its five towns, namely, Sürmene, Vakfikebir, Maçka, Hayrat, and Tonya. A total of 5016 subjects (2728 women and 2288 men) were included in the study. Individuals more than 20 years old were selected from their family health cards. Demographic factors, socioeconomic factors, family history of selected medical conditions, and lifestyle factors were obtained for all participants. Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels were measured for all subjects. Study procedures were carried out in the local health centers in each town over an 8-month period. Obesity was defined as BMI > or = 30 kg/m2 and overweight as BMI = 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2.

RESULTS: The prevalence of obesity was 23.5%: 29.4% in women and 16.5% in men. The combined prevalence of both overweight and obesity was 60.3%. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was 29.4%: 38.9% among women and 18.1% among men. The prevalence of obesity increased with age, being highest in the 60- to 69-year-old age group (40.8%) but lower again in the 70+ age group. Obesity was associated positively with marital status, parity, cessation of cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and household income and inversely with level of education, cigarette use, and physical activity. Also, obesity was associated positively with hypertension.

DISCUSSION: In the Trabzon Region, 60.3% of the adult population presents with some excess weight. Obesity is a major public health problem that requires generalized interventions to prevent it among the adult population.

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