[Epidemiology of obesity in the work milieu, Douala, Cameroon]

Rev Med Brux. 2012 May-Jun;33(3):131-7.
[Article in French]


Obesity is a worldwide public health problem, and its burden has been poorly explored in Cameroon, especially in work place. We therefore carried out in April 2010, an analytic cross-sectional study aiming to determine the prevalence of obesity, associated risk factors and health risk in six randomly selected enterprises based in Douala. Among the 552 participants, 383 (69.4%) were males. Most of the workers (55.4%) were aged less than 35 years old. There was 191 (34.60%) office staff as against 361 (65.40%) labourers. In each participant, blood pressures, and fasting blood glucose were recorded, as well as obesity indexes comprising body mass index and waist circumference. They were calculated and data analyzed using SPSS 16 and Win Pepi 11.8. The prevalence of obesity in workers was 23.4%, and was more pronounced in women than in men (36.1% vs 17.8%; P < 0.005). The workers aged > or = 45 years old exhibited highest obesity rate than other age group (P = 0.03). Importantly, the prevalence of hypertension was two fold greater in obese workers than non obese (P < 0.005; RR = 2.1; IC 95%: 1.57-2.83). 271 (49.1%) of the workers were overweight. Among the obese subjects, those with visceral obesity: 56 (43.4%) females with a waist circumference > 88 cm and 41 (31.8%) men with a waist circumference > 102 cm were at very high health risk. Obesity was significantly associated with excessive alcohol consumption (P = 0.013) and high salt diet (P = 0.022). This study reveals a high burden of obesity in the work place in Douala and outlines the urgent needs of implementation of prevention programme in that milieu.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cameroon / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Work / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult