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Title: Body Size Perceptions of Women and Obesity in Urban Uganda
Authors: GEORGINA, Seera
Keywords: Too thin
Just enough
Too fat
Body mass index
Issue Date: Jul-2019
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African Study Monographs
Volume: 40
Issue: 1
Start page: 1
End page: 21
Abstract: In 2016, up to 17.1% of women in urban Uganda were obese. Previous research in the area has highlighted that body size increases were positively viewed by older women. In this study, the body size of 540 women was classified using the Body Mass Index (BMI). Their body size perceptions were identified from a combination of participant observations and interviews, both semi-structured and in-depth. 21 (3.9%) of the women were classified as underweight, 264 (48.9%) as normal, 146 (27.0%) as overweight, and 109 (20.2%) as obese. The perception that one's body size was Just enough (normal) was commonest in the group of women classified as being overweight, 102 (69.9%). In addition, 393 (72.8%) of the women had no desire to change their body size. The positive perception of a big body size was perpetuated by its association with beauty, health, wealth, and maturity. The important indicators that one was Too fat (obese) were a feeling that one was too heavy and trouble finding fashionable fitting clothes. Nevertheless, intentional control of body size was uncommon, attempted by 72 women (13.3%). Obesity control efforts in Uganda may thus benefit from tackling the observed sociocultural barriers and emphasizing the implication of an obese body size on mobility and access to fashionable clothing.
Rights: Copyright by The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University, July 1, 2019.
DOI: 10.14989/243207
Appears in Collections:Vol.40 No.1

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