Abstract
THE RISK OF OBESITY AND OBESITY RELATED DISEASES AMONG THE IGBO AND IJAW ADULTS IN NIGERIA USING WAIST-TO-HIP RATIO AS A MARKER.

Oladipo G. S.* and Amadi P. N.

ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to provide a baseline data for use by anthropologists and medical practitioners. The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of 1,588 adults were measured and used for the analysis of this study. Subjects were drawn from adults whose age ranged from 18-45 years from Igbo and Ijaw ethnic groups. Subjects were either Ijaws or Igbos by both parents and grandparents. The total number of Ijaw males and females were 373 and 412 and total number of Igbo males and females were 397 and 406 respectively. The result showed that the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of Igbo and Ijaw males and females at age range of 18-21 years were comparatively the same, but with advancing age, however difference occurred in their WHR value in both sexes of the two ethnic groups. It also showed that male had a higher WHR than their female counterparts in both ethnic groups as they progress to advancing age by 0.06. 15.8% of Ijaw males and 8.6% of Igbo males had WHR of 0.95 and above while 43.6% of Ijaw females and 39.4% of Igbo females had WHR of 0.85 and above. In general, hip and waist circumferences were higher in females than in males. Hip circumferences were greater than the waist circumferences in both sexes and the Ijaw adults had higher waist-to-hip ratio than the Igbo counterparts. This study has established the presence of sexual dimorphism in the waist-to-hip ratio of adult Ijaw and Igbo ethnic groups of Nigeria and also ethnic variations. It has also established that a large percentage of these populations are at risk of obesity and related diseases and hence need urgent intervention from medical experts. The results of this study could be very useful to nutritionists, clinicians, anthropologists and forensic scientists and could serve as reference paper for future studies on other Nigerian ethnic group.

Keywords: waist circumference, hip circumference, waist to hip ratio, Nigeria.


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