A micronutrient survey conducted by Ghana Health Service found that about 39% of women in the country are obese.
The report, which was conducted across the country between May and June of last year, shows that 49% of women in urban areas are obese, while those in rural areas represent 29%.
According to the report, 47% of obese women are in the southern belt of the country, including Great Accra, Ashanti and Eastern regions, while 19% live in the three northern regions.
A person is considered obese when the body mass index (BMI), which is the measurement of body fat in relation to height and weight, is 30 kg or more, rather than the normal BMI of 18.5kg and 24.9kg.
Overweight occurs when a person has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 kg.
Dr. Seth Adu-Afarwuah, professor of nutrition at the University of Ghana, presented the findings of the research in Accra, attributing the prevalence of obesity, especially in urban areas, to sedentary lifestyle and taste for packaged foods.
The research team was led by the University of Ghana with financial support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Canadian Government.
The objective of the study was to generate reliable, micronutrient-ready data to help combat malnutrition and improve the health status of children and women.