Prevalence and risk factors with overweight and obesity among Vietnamese adults: Caucasian and Asian cut-offs

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2009;18(2):226-33.


Objective: To determine the prevalence and factors associated with overweight/obesity among adults in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) using Caucasian and Asian cut-offs.

Study design: A cross-sectional survey.

Methods: In 2005, 1,971 adults aged 25-64 years in HCMC were randomly selected using a proportional to population size sampling method to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity, measured by body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. Multivariable logistic models were used to examine associations between overweight/obesity and socioeconomic status, health-related behaviors, and biochemical indices of chronic disease risk.

Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity using the Caucasian BMI cut-offs were 13.9% and 1.8% respectively, and those with the Asian BMI cut-offs were 27.5% and 5.7%, respectively. The abdominal adiposity rates were higher than the BMI overweight and obesity rates in women, but not in men. Increasing age, low education, high household wealth index, high levels of sitting and reclining time, cholesterol and high blood pressure were significantly associated with overweight and obesity. Current smoking and sedentary leisure time was significantly negatively associated with this status in men.

Conclusion: Associations between overweight/obesity and metabolic disorders were evident using both cut-offs. Asian cut-offs identified more risk factors and therefore could be considered for defining at-risk groups. The results highlight the importance of intervention programs to prevent overweight/obesity in young adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat
  • Adult
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Overweight / diagnosis
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / ethnology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Vietnam / epidemiology
  • Waist Circumference / ethnology


  • Cholesterol