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Obesity in Nigerian Adults and the Associated Cause and Impact on the Population

Ellecom, Jenifer B; Shaw, Ian; Adams, Gary G

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Jenifer B Ellecom

Professor of Health Policy


Background: Obesity has been on the rise in developed and developing countries such as Nigeria. Data from the WHO demonstrated the prevalence of obesity increased by 15% between 2002 and 2016 in Nigeria. Here, we examine the rate of obesity in Nigerian adults and the associated cause and impact on the population.

Methods: An electronic search was conducted from November 2020 to October 2022 across PubMed, PMC, Science Direct and NU search. A formal search strategy was used to combine the keywords. The retrieved studies were filtered through inclusion and exclusion criteria. Fifteen studies were included in this systematic review. The data of the included studies were extracted using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist and results analysed with Revman meta-analysis.

Results: Three key themes were identified across the 15 studies: socio-economic status, sedentary lifestyle and diet-associated obesity. Obesity was found in an average of 22% (n=1042) and 34% (n=2361) females and males, respectively. As such, the rate of obesity was overall significantly higher in Nigerian females than males.

Conclusion: The prevalence of obesity in Nigeria was high with Nigerian adult females more affected. The high rate of obesity was associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as gestational diabetes, diabetes mellitus, stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Support from health care professionals, nursing practitioners and governmental interventions are required to reduce the burden on and the deterioration in Nigerian adults’ health and wellbeing.


Ellecom, J. B., Shaw, I., & Adams, G. G. (2022). Obesity in Nigerian Adults and the Associated Cause and Impact on the Population. Journal of Diabetes Research Reviews & Reports, 4(4), 1-11.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 5, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 29, 2022
Publication Date Nov 12, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 27, 2023
Journal Journal of Diabetes Research Reviews and Reports
Electronic ISSN 2755-0184
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 4
Pages 1-11
Keywords Obesity; Nigerian; Adults; Causes; Impact; Population
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copyright: ©2022 Gary G Adams, et al. This is an open-access article
distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.