Anthropometry of women of childbearing age in Morocco: body composition and prevalence of overweight and obesity

Public Health Nutrition
Rekia BelahsenFatima Fertat


To determine the prevalence of obesity and body fat distribution of Moroccan women of childbearing age, using a panel of anthropometric measurements. A cross-sectional survey conducted in 1995 in an agricultural community, El Jadida province of Morocco. Weight, height, waist and hip circumferences and triceps, biceps, subscapular and supra-iliac skinfold thicknesses were measured. Body mass index (BMI), waist/hip ratio (WHR), sum of all and sum of trunk skinfold thicknesses were determined. In total, 1269 women aged 15-49 years from urban and rural areas were surveyed. The means of all anthropometric measurements including body fat were higher in urban than in rural women and increased with age. Trunk fat contributed 50% of total fat. Globally, 4.7% of women were underweight (BMI<18.5 kg m(-2)), 35.2% were overweight or obese (BMI> or =25 kg m(-2)), 10.1% were obese (BMI> or =30 kg m(-2)) and 16.8% had central obesity (WHR>0.85). The prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher in the urban than in the rural area. Underweight prevalence decreased with age, whereas that of overweight and obesity increased. All anthropometric parameters adjusted for age increased with the increase of BMI and WHR. Although undernutrition is sti...Continue Reading


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