Date of Award

Summer 7-29-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Okosun I S

Second Advisor

Lyn R


ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The prevalence of adiposity (overweight and obesity) is increasing in among Ghanaian women. The disparity between urban and rural Ghanaian women in adiposity is seldom described due to data paucity. The purpose of this study was to provide a comparative analysis between urban and rural women in regards to the socio-demographic factors associated with adiposity. METHODS: The analyses used cross-sectional data from the Ghana Demographic Health Survey involving child bearing women ages14 to 49 years old. The eligible population comprised 4848 non-pregnant women (2023 from urban and 2825 from rural areas). Residence-specific (urban versus rural) associations between selected independent variables and adiposity were quantified using odds ratios from univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Stepwise logistic regression analyses were used to describe the variables that were best predictors of adiposity. RESULTS: The overall crude prevalence of overweight (25.0-29.9 kg/m2) and obesity (≥30kg/m2) were 40% and 18% in urban and rural areas, respectively. There was a positive statistically significant difference between urban and rural women with respect to the distribution of overweight as well as obese (p<.001). Result from the univariate models showed that among rural and urban resident women, older age, higher education, higher wealth, and lack of job was each associated with increased odds of overweight. Compared to Akan women, being of other ethnic group was associated with decreased odds of overweight in women of urban and rural settings. Lack of fruits consumption and Muslim religion were each associated with increased odds of overweight in women who live in rural settings. Consumption of less than 5 fruits in a day was associated with decreased odds of overweight in urban resident women. For urban and rural resident women, wealth index and age were the best predictors for overweight. Older age, higher education, higher weight index, lack of jobs and being other than Akan ethnicity were each associated with increased odds of obesity in urban and rural settings. Compared to married women, being unmarried was associated with increased odds of obesity in urban and rural women. Wealth index was the best predictor variable of obesity in urban women. older age, education, wealth index, having a job, and fruit consumptions were the best predictors of obesity in rural women. CONCLUSION: Adiposity was more prevalent in urban living women compare to women who reside in rural areas. This finding is critical for planning effective adiposity control in Ghana. Proving education for Ghana women may enhance their wealth and knowledge about adiposity.

Included in

Public Health Commons