UBOS: 26% of Ugandan Women Obese


  • The latest Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2022 reveals a significant increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Ugandans since 2006, reaching 26% in 2022. Additionally, there’s been a positive decline in the infant mortality rate. Government officials are addressing concerns about stunted children and inadequate access to healthcare services, aiming to align with development goals.

The prevalence of overweight and obese individuals in Uganda has steadily increased, as per the latest Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2022 released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). Since 2006, the percentage has risen from 17% to 26% in 2022.

The survey, which collected data from women and men aged 15 to 49, revealed that 26% of women in Uganda now have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or more, indicating overweight or obesity. Conversely, 9% of women are considered thin, with a BMI lower than 18.5.

Furthermore, the survey highlights that women from the wealthiest households are five times more likely to be overweight or obese compared to those from the poorest households (45% versus 8%). Among men, 15% have a BMI lower than 18.5, indicating thinness, while 11% are classified as obese with a BMI above 25.

The report notes that men with more than a secondary education (28%) and those from the wealthiest households (21%) are prone to being overweight or obese.

On a positive note, the report indicates a decline in the infant mortality rate in Uganda. The rate decreased from 88 deaths per 1000 live births in 2000-01 to 36 deaths per 1000 live births in 2022. Susan Ngongi, the United Nations representative in Uganda, praised the efforts of the Ministry of Health and stakeholders in enhancing maternal healthcare access, contributing to the decline in childhood mortality rates.

However, concerns were raised by Amos Lugoloobi, the State Minister for Finance, regarding the high prevalence of stunted children and inadequate access to medical facilities and maternal services among women. He emphasized government initiatives aimed at improving these indicators to align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s agenda 2063.

The 2022 UDHS marks the seventh Demographic and Health survey conducted in Uganda since 1989. Chris Mukiza, the executive director of UBOS, emphasized the importance of utilizing the survey findings for informed decision-making and policy development among planners, policymakers, and the public.

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