Spatial Patterns and Determinants of Overweight and Obesity in Ghana

Authors: Joseph Oppong*, University of North Texas
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Africa, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Spatial analysis, Ghana, overweight/obesity, gender
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Overweight and obesity have emerged as major health concerns in Ghana associated with escalating morbidity and mortality from non-communicable diseases, but the spatial pattern and drivers remain poorly understood. Large scale, regional-level analysis, the norm for geographic studies of obesity in Ghana, conceal district-level variations and frustrate intervention efforts.
Using nationally representative data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), this study examines the spatial variations in obesity and overweight at the district level in Ghana and the associated explanatory variables. The results reveal that while an estimated 26% of respondents are overweight or obese, the rates vary significantly by gender, place of residence – urban/rural – and are higher in the southern parts of the country. However, significant pockets of obesity and overweight exist in other areas that are frequently missed. Using hotspot analysis, this study sheds light on these areas and provides input for spatial targeting to address the problem.

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