- Ghana Health Service (GHS) has revealed that about 39 per cent of women in the country are obese
- According to the report, 47% of the obese women are in the southern belt of the country, comprising the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Eastern regions
Thirty-nine per cent (39%) of women in Ghana are obese, a micronutrient survey conducted by the Ghana Health Service has disclosed.
A person is said to be obese when his or her Body Mass Index (BMI), which is the measure of the body fat based on height and weight, is 30kg or more, rather than the normal BMI that ranges between 18.5kg and 24.9kg.
The survey was conducted between May and June 2017, and covered majority of women across the country.
It revealed that women living in urban areas tend to be more obese than their counterparts living in rural areas.
The report found that 49% of women in urban areas are obese, while those in rural areas account for 29%.
Also, it was found that 47 per cent of the obese women are in the southern belt of the country, comprising the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Eastern regions, while 19 per cent live in the three northern regions.
The latest survey on the percentage of obese women in the country was presented by Dr Seth Adu-Afarwuah, a senior lecturer of nutrition at the University of Ghana.
According to him, the growing intake of junk foods is one of the main reasons why obesity has become prevalent among women in the country.
The Ghana Micronutrient Survey (GMS), which was conducted among 1,064 non-pregnant women, 1,234 children and 2159 households selected across the country, was a comprehensive study of the anaemia, vitamin A, iron haemoglobin and malaria prevalence among women and children.
The study also showed that there was a 21.7% national prevalence of anaemia among non-pregnant women, while the prevalence among children stood at 36 per cent.
Meanwhile, Vitamin A deficiency in children under five also stood at 21%.
“Only 16% of the households have fixed water sink and 63 per cent have water for hand washing at the place of dwelling. Only about a quarter of households in the country use clean cooking fuel,” the study observed in the area of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).
Commenting on the findings, Director of Family Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Aboagye, said it should serve as a wakeup call for policymakers to double their efforts in tackling the challenges relating to the health needs of vulnerable groups, especially women and children.
According to him, there must be a collaborative effort between researchers and policymakers in order to improve the country’s health sector.
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