Trends in the Prevalence of Overweight Among Women in Egypt

Petra Nahmias, Princeton University

Obesity in middle-income developing countries is increasingly becoming a public health problem. This is especially so for women of reproductive age due to the association of obesity with fertility, pregnancy and birth complications. Recent data from Egypt show that about 80% of women of reproductive age are overweight and about 20% are morbidly obese. This poses a significant problem for maternal health provision, especially given that Egypt still faces many of the challenges associated with earlier stages of the epidemiological transition. This paper uses demographic and health surveys from 1992 to 2005 to describe the remarkable changes in overweight and obesity experienced by women of reproductive age in Egypt. The results show that overweight and obesity are not distributed equally by all Egyptian women, with large social, economic and geographical differences. In particular, urban and educated women are most likely to be overweight, although the differentials are decreasing over time.

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Presented in Poster Session 2