Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2021, 72(4): 409-418

Nutritional status of sub-Saharans residing in the city of El Jadida - Morocco: weight in relation to socio-economic status
[Nutritional status of sub-Saharans residing in the city of El Jadida - Morocco: weight in relation to socio-economic status]

Halima Daif, Hamid Chamlal, Imane Barakat, Mohammed El Ayachi, Rekia Belahsen

Background. Onset of overweight and obesity has been previously reported as a result of population migration to western countries.
Objective. To determine the nutritional status, weight status and their association with socioeconomic status in sub-Saharan settled in El Jadida city in a Mediterranean country Morocco.
Materials and methods. A descriptive study was carried out in 2018 on 256 sub-Saharans migrants living in the city of El Jadida in Morocco. Information on socio-economic and socio-demographic characteristics as well as anthropometric measurements was collected. The body mass index (BMI) and abdominal obesity by measuring waist circumference (WC) and waist circumference to hip ratio (WHR) and the distribution of body fat by calculating the sum of skin folds are determined.
Results. Analysis results indicate that height, waist circumference, hip circumference, sum of trunk skinfolds, total sum of skinfolds, and BMI increase with age. The prevalence of underweight decreases with age, overweight was 38.7% in the youngest age group (18-25 years) and reached higher values after 35 years (44.10%). In addition, the prevalence of general obesity (based on BMI) increased with age and abdominal obesity (based on WHR and WC) was more marked in sub-Saharan people aged 26 to 35 years. These results also reveal the coexistence of underweight, overweight and obesity in all age groups. The analysis revealed a significant association between several variables and obesity. Significant associations were found between age and BMI (P=0.04), between level of education (university) and WHR (p=0.02), between sex and WHR, and between sex and WC (p=0.049). The study revealed also that the majority of the study sample gained weight after their settling in the host country.
Conclusions. The study data show that obesity including overweight and abdominal obesity were prevalent among sub-Saharan migrants residing in the city of El Jadida. This prevalence is associated with socio-demographic and socioeconomic factors.

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