International Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014, 2(3), 60-68DOI:
Abstract: Body size preference as well as diet, and physical activity could be important determinants of overweight/obesity among urban Ghanaian women. The study was designed to determine the relationship between dietary intake, physical activity level, body size preference and body mass index (BMI) in women in Kumasi metropolis, Ghana. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 394 women, aged 20 years and above, in 6 randomly selected churches in the Kumasi metropolis. Subjects were assessed through 24-hr dietary intake, physical activity levels using the WHO global physical activity questionnaire and anthropometry. Participants were asked to select their preferred body size from photographic silhouettes consisting of six images of women of known BMI (20, 24, 28, 30, 33 and 38kg/m2) arranged in random order. The silhouettes were transformed on a scale of 1 to 6, in ascending BMI, as continuous variables for analysis. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to assess the predictors of overweight/obesity among the women. Based on BMI, 31.3% of the women were overweight and 37.1% obese. The significant predictors of overweight/obesity among the women were total dietary energy intake (OR=1.001, p=0.012), low physical activity (OR=3.136, p=0.011), preference for large body size (OR=5.197, p=0.032), being of age 40 years and above (OR=2.558, p=0.017) and having at least one child (OR=3.878, p=0.002). Diet high in calories, low physical activity levels coupled with preference for large body size could contribute to the high prevalence of overweight/obesity among the women. Clinical and public health intervention strategies should be culturally-tailored in mitigating the emerging overweight/obesity problem.