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Journal Articles Journal of Biosocial Science Year : 2019

Biocultural determinants of overweight in the context of nutrition transition in Senegal: an anthropological approach

Abstract

Senegal is experiencing a rising obesity epidemic, due to the nutrition transition occurring in most African countries, and driven by sedentary behaviour and high-calorie dietary intake. In addition, the anthropological local drivers of the social valorization of processed high-calorie food and large body sizes could expose the population to obesity risk. This study aimed to determine the impact of these biocultural factors on the nutritional status of Senegalese adults. A mixed methods approach was used, including qualitative and quantitative studies. Between 2011 and 2013, fourteen focus group discussions (n=84) and a cross-sectional quantitative survey (n=313 women; n=284 men) of adults in three different socio-ecological areas of Senegal (rural: n=204; suburban: n=206; urban: n=187) were conducted. Dietary intake (Dietary Diversity Scores), physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire), body weight norms (Body Size Scale), weight and health statuses (anthropometric measures and blood pressure) were measured. Middle-aged and older Senegalese women were found to value overweight/obesity more than younger Senegalese in all regions. In addition, young urban/suburban adults had a tendency for daily snacking whilst urban/suburban adults tended to be less physically active and had higher anthropometric means. A binary logistic regression model showed that being female, older, living in urban/suburban areas and valuing larger body size were independently associated with being overweight/obese, but not high-calorie diet. Univariate analyses showed that lower physical activity and higher socioeconomic status were associated with being overweight/obese. Finally, overweight/obesity, which is low in men, is associated with hypertension in the total sample. The nutrition transition is currently underway in Senegal's urban/suburban areas, with older women being more affected. Since several specific biocultural factors jointly contribute to this phenomenon, the study's findings suggest the need for local public health interventions that target women and which account for the anthropological specificities of the Senegalese population.

Dates and versions

hal-02887332 , version 1 (02-07-2020)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives

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Emmanuel Cohen, Philippe Jean-Luc Gradidge, Mamadou Ndao, Priscilla Duboz, Enguerran Macia, et al.. Biocultural determinants of overweight in the context of nutrition transition in Senegal: an anthropological approach. Journal of Biosocial Science, 2019, 51 (4), pp.469-490. ⟨10.1017/S0021932018000287⟩. ⟨hal-02887332⟩
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