Obesity and undernutrition and cardiovascular risk factors in rural and urban Gambian communities

Marianne van der Sande, S M Ceesay, P J Milligan, O A Nyan, W A Banya, A Prentice, K P McAdam, G E Walraven

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: This study documented the prevalence of and cardiovascular risk factors associated with obesity and undernutrition in the Gambia.

METHODS: Adults (> or =15 years; N = 5373) from rural and urban areas completed a questionnaire; their height, weight, and waist and hip circumferences were measured, and their cardiovascular risk factors were assessed.

RESULTS: Prevalence of undernutrition (body mass index < 18 kg/m(2)) was 18.0%; all strata of society were affected. Prevalence of obesity (body mass index > or =30 kg/m(2)) was 4.0% but was higher (32.6%) among urban women 35 years or older. Cardiovascular risk factors were more prevalent among obese participants.

CONCLUSIONS: Undernutrition coexists with obesity, demonstrating a "double burden of disease." Differential interventions should focus on high-risk groups; prevention needs a multisectorial approach.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1641-1644
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gambia/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Disorders/epidemiology
  • Obesity/epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health


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