Prevalence and associated factors of overweight and obesity in a Chinese rural population

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jan;16(1):168-71. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.43.


Background: Overweight and obesity are now considered as a serious health problem, and a very important risk factor for many diseases.

Objective: This study was designed to investigate the epidemiologic features of overweight and obesity among rural adults in China.

Method and procedures: A cross-sectional survey was conducted during 2004-2005, using a multistage cluster sampling method to select a representative sample in Fuxin county, Liaoning province, China. A total of 29,970 adults, aged > or =35 years, were examined. At baseline, lifestyle and other factors were obtained. Overweight and obesity were defined according to the classification by the World Health Organization.

Results: Overall, the prevalence of overweight was 18.6%; 15.1% in men and 22.1% in women. The prevalence of obesity was 1.7%; 1.2% in men and 2.2% in women. Multivariable logistic regression revealed certain risk factors of obesity that included being a women, Mongolian nationality and education status of over junior high school level. Moderate physical activity alone was shown as protective factor.

Discussion: Although the prevalence of obesity was low, overweight was relatively high in the Chinese rural population, especially in adult women. Gender, diet, physical activity, education levels, and ethnicity were associated with the prevalence of these health conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / ethnology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / ethnology*
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population*
  • Sex Factors