Perceived Body Weight and Actual Body Mass Index (BMI) in Urban Poor Communities in Accra, Ghana

Grace Frempong Agyemang, University of Ghana
Delali M. Badasu, University of Ghana

Body weight is of public health concerns globally because of its health implications. Weight perception is said to be a determinant of weight management practices which subsequently affects body weight. This paper examined the association between perceived body weight and actual BMI among residents in three poor communities in Accra, Ghana’s capital using data from the second round of Edulink Urban and Poverty Project gathered in 2011 by Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS). Chi-square tests and multinomial regression analysis were used to find associations between variables. Underestimation (79%) and overestimation (45%) of weight were higher among participants who perceived themselves as underweight and obese respectively. The perceptions respondents had about their body size influenced their dietary behaviour but not their engagement in physical activity. It is important that, obesity interventions focus on the benefit of engaging in both physical activity and healthy dietary practices for these urban poor communities.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality