ABSTRACT: Obesity becomes a major problem in our country during the last decades.
Evaluation of the prevalence of obesity and overweight in Tunisia.
Prospective epidemiological survey concerning a representative sample of Tunisian Population realised on 2001 by the Tunisian National Health Public Institut. Medical visit and anthropometric measurements were performed by medical investigators at subject's home. Statistical analysis using SAS program were performed. WHO body mass index criteria were used to define overweight and obesity. Population investigated included 8576 adults and adolescents 15 years or older, 4232 men and 4344 women.
Prevalence of obesity is 12.2% (6.1% in men, 18.3% in women, p<0.001). Prevalences of obesity grade I, II, and III are respectively 8.7%, 2.9% and 0.7%. Prevalence of overweight is 21.8% (8.9% in men, 12.8% in women, p<0.001). Prevalences of obesity and overweight are respectively in rural districts 8.6% and 10.2%, in urban districts 14.8% and 23.6% (p<0.001). Tunisian eastern areas are more affected by obesity and overweight than western areas but there isn't a north-south gradient.
Our study shows that prevalences of overweight and obesity in Tunisia became quite similar to the prevalence in European countries, but concerned especially women and eastern areas, more industrialised and more urbanised than the western ones. Preventive strategies should be rapidly implemented in Tunisia to stop the growing of this health public problem.
La Tunisie médicale 08/2008; 86(7):649-52.