Obesity and overweight have become a global public health and social issues,
with concerns for demographic determinants and health sequelae. The situation among
nurses in Nigeria lacks empirical evidence. This study determined the prevalence,
socio-demographic, and health correlates of overweight and obesity among nurses
in a tertiary health institution in North-west Nigeria using a descriptive cross-sectional
survey. A convenient sample of 225 nurses, selected from different units, was recruited
for the study. A questionnaire and anthropometric
measurements were used to obtain data. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package
for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24.0. Body mass index (BMI) was used to
categorise weight: <18.5 kg/m2, 18.5 – 24.9 kg/m2, 25 –
29.9kg/m2 and 30kg/m2 and above to define underweight, normal,
overweight, and obese respectively. Results showed over a third (38.0%) of nurses
in this setting are obese; 28.0% are overweight, 32% have normal weight, while
a few (2.0%) are underweight. Married females are more obese or overweight; obesity
and overweight seem to increase with age and ranks. Obesity and overweight are associated
with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and arthritis in about 25% of nurses. A high prevalence rate of obesity and overweight
is thus found, with about two-thirds (66%) of nurses in the study area being either
overweight or obese. This is associated with nurses’ age, gender, marital status,
and ranks, and some non-communicable diseases. It is recommended that regular health
checks, stress management, and other health promotion activities should form the
institutional policy for health schemes and self-care for nurses.
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