My Community, My Weight: Neighbourhood Environmental and Socio-Cultural Factors Associated with Overweight and Obesity among the Urban Poor in Accra, Ghana

Fidelia A. A. Dake, University of Ghana
Samuel N. A. Codjoe, University of Ghana
Samuel Agyei-Mensah, University of Ghana

Health outcomes including low birth weight, obesity and hypertension have been found to be influenced by neighbourhood environmental and socio-economic factors particularly in economically deprived communities. This study examines the influence of community environmental and socio-cultural factors on overweight and obesity among residents of Ga-Mashie in Accra, Ghana. Among the problems reported in the community were high crime (23.8%) and lack of trust among community members (57.2%). Overweight (23.9%) and obesity (20.5%) were highest among those who reported lack of community physical activity space(s) and also among those who perceived their body size to be larger than the community ideal body size (24.8% and 47.1% respectively). Social cohesion (close-knit community), level of crime and access to community physical activity space(s) were found to have a significant influence on overweight and obesity. The results reveal overweight and obesity as outcomes of a complex interaction between individuals, their behaviours and their community.

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Presented in Poster Session 7