Economic growth and obesity in South African adults: an ecological analysis between 1994 and 2014

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 10
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: To assess the trend associations between South Africa’s economic growth using various economic growth indicators (EGIs) with adult obesity prevalence over a specified period of time. Methods: Data for obesity levels reported was obtained from national surveys conducted in South African adults between the periods of 1994 to 2014. EGIs incorporated in the current analysis were obtained from the World Bank and IHS Global insight databases. Obesity prevalence is presented by gender, urbanisation level and ethnicity. EGIs congruent to the time points where obesity data are available are presented. Unadjusted time trend plots were applied to assess associations between obesity prevalence and EGIs by gender, urbanisation level and ethnicity. Results: Females present higher levels of obesity relative to males for all time points. For both males and females, an overall increase in prevalence was observed in both rural and urban settings over‐time, with urban dwellers presenting higher obesity levels. An overall increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) per capita was observed. The Gini coefficient for all ethnicities except the white group increased between 1998 and 2003 but declined by 2012.