Global Health Observatory (GHO)

Obesity among women

Situation

Prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥ 30) in women aged 15-49 years is higher in the richest 20% than in the poorest 20% urban population, especially in Africa, but also in the Americas and in Asia. This pattern is reversed in Europe where obesity is more prevalent among the poorest 20% urban women. In Africa, prevalence of obesity among women in the richest 20% urban households is 2.4 times more than that among women in the poorest 20% urban households. While in Europe, prevalence of obesity among women in the poorest 20% urban households is 1.5 times more than that among women in the richest 20% urban households.


Trends

Obesity among urban women has increased by 5%, 6% and 4% in Africa, Americas and Asia, respectively, between 1990–1999 and 2000–2011. Further, obesity among urban women has increased in both the richest 20% and poorest 20% urban households in all regions. Among women in the poorest 20% urban households, obesity has risen by 3%, 6%, and 4%, respectively, in Africa, Americas and Asia. Women in the richest 20% urban households are more likely to be obese than women in the poorest 20% urban households in both decades under consideration. The inequalities, as measured by rate ratios comparing the richest and poorest quintiles, have decreased for all regions between 1990–1999 and 2000–2011.

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