Cultural Explanations for the Geography of malnutrition and Obesity in Ghana

Authors: Agnes Afriyie Asubonteng*, University of North Texas, Joseph R Oppong, University of North Texas
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Africa
Keywords: Obesity, Malnutrition, Ghana, Focus Groups, GIS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Studio 4, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

ABSTRACT While obesity is now recognized as a major health concern in Ghana, the major drivers and causal factors and their spatial variation remain unclear. Nutritional changes and lack of physical activity are frequently blamed but the underlying factors, particularly cultural values and practices remain understudied. Moreover, some of the areas with high rates of obesity also have troubling rates of malnutrition. This research investigates the driving forces and the spatial pattern of obesity and malnutrition at different geographic scales in Ghana. We use statistical analysis and focus group discussions to tease out the primary cultural factors underlying the changing pattern of obesity and malnutrition in Ghana. The results provide important insights for spatial targeting to reduce the double burden of obesity and malnutrition in the country.

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