Half of females in Ghana, aged between 20 and 49, are either obese or overweight, the 2022 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) report has revealed.
Specifically, 22 per cent of the group, representing more than a fifth of them, are obese, while 28.2 per cent of them are overweight.
While 50.2 per cent of females are obese or overweight, 20.7 per cent of men are obese or overweight.
In the context of males, 3.9 per cent are obese and 16.8 per cent of them are overweight.
These revelations were contained in the 2022 GDHS report read by the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, at the release of the report in Accra last Thursday.
The report revealed that education was related positively with obesity, indicating further that higher levels of education was associated with lower levels of prevalence of malaria and lower levels of children that were stunted.
The Demographic and Health Survey report is a population-based survey designed to monitor progress on health service utilisation and management to inform decision-makers.
Since 1998, the survey has been conducted in Ghana, led by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and other stakeholders.
The objective of the survey is to provide reliable estimates of fertility levels and preferences, contraceptive use, nutrition status of adults and children, and gender, among others.
The information is intended for the use of programme managers and policymakers to evaluate and improve existing programmes.
The fieldwork for the latest survey was conducted from October 17, 2022 to January 14, 2023.
A nationally representative sample of 15,014 girls and women, aged between 15 and 49 years in 17,933 households, and 7,044 boys and men, aged 15 to 59 years, in half of the selected household,s were interviewed for the latest survey.
The report provided data on seven out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
Prof. Annim said the survey identified that more than a quarter of women were consuming unhealthy foods, which was defined as cakes, chocolates, sweets and fried foods.
For minimum dietary diversity, he said, the survey revealed that 50 per cent of women within the age bracket of 15 to 49 years were consuming five or more of the 10 different food groups ranging from grains, vegetables to leafy vegetables.
On family planning, he said, the survey revealed that the country had doubled the proportion of women who were able to limit and space births using modern methods from 22.2 per cent to 49.5 per cent.
Other areas the report touched on included fertility and its determinants, infant and child mortality, maternal and newborn health care, nutritional status, feeding practices and supplementation, and malaria.
On the roadmap after the release of the report, Prof. Annim said starting Wednesday, January 24, to March this year, a number of targeted dissemination exercises based on issues would be held, as well as dissemination at different geographical areas.
The USAID Ghana Health Office Director, Dr Zohra Balsara, said although the results of the 2022 survey showed that Ghana had made progress, there was still some work to be done, particularly in order to achieve the SDG of 12 per 1,000 live births.
The Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said it was gratifying to see positive outcomes with substantial progress achieved in six out of the 15 targets of the 2022 to 2025 health sector development plan.
He mentioned the achievements to include improvement in total fertility rate, prevalence of childhood anaemia and stunting, which, he said, was still high.
In a speech read on his behalf, the World Health Organisation Representative to Ghana, Prof. Francis Kasolo, commended the GSS for conducting the survey
and releasing the results in a relatively short time.
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