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J Health Popul Nutr. 2011 Jun;29(3):286-9.

Obesity patterns among women in a slum area in Brazil.

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Department of Epidemiology, Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira, Rua dos Coelhos, 300-Boa Vista, Recife (PE), Brazil.


High-energy diet and sedentary lifestyle fail to completely explain the epidemic of obesity in developing countries. In this cross-sectional survey, the prevalence and patterns of overweight/obesity were assessed among women in a slum in Brazil. Using anthropometric measurements, shorter form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), and a 24-hour diet recall questionnaire, data were collected from 632 women aged 20-60 years. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 29% and 17% respectively. Physical inactivity was found in 17% of the women; 12% of them had short stature, and 44% had energy intake below the recommended dietary allowance. Results of multiple logistic regression showed that overweight/obesity differed significantly (p < 0.05) in the following aspects: abdominal circumference, energy intake, and short stature. A high prevalence of overweight/obesity was found in a very poor community associated with high-energy intake and short stature.

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