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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Oct 11;10(10):4967-81. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10104967.

Spatial distribution of underweight, overweight and obesity among women and children: results from the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey.

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Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1206 S. Fourth Street, 80B Huff Hall, Champaign, IL 61820, USA.


While undernutrition and infectious diseases are still persistent in developing countries, overweight, obesity, and associated comorbidities have become more prevalent. Uganda, a developing sub-Saharan African country, is currently experiencing the public health paradox of undernutrition and overnutrition. We utilized the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) to examine risk factors and hot spots for underweight, overweight, and obesity among adult females (N = 2,420) and their children (N = 1,099) using ordinary least squares and multinomial logit regression and the ArcGIS Getis-Ord Gi* statistic. Overweight and obese women were significantly more likely to have overweight children, and overweight was correlated with being in the highest wealth class (OR = 2.94, 95% CI = 1.99-4.35), and residing in an urban (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.34-2.29) but not a conflict prone (OR = 0.48, 95% CI = 0.29-0.78) area. Underweight clustered significantly in the Northern and Northeastern regions, while overweight females and children clustered in the Southeast. We demonstrate that the DHS can be used to assess geographic clustering and burden of disease, thereby allowing for targeted programs and policies. Further, we pinpoint specific regions and population groups in Uganda for targeted preventive measures and treatment to reduce the burden of overweight and chronic diseases in Uganda.

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