SAGE Journals

Prevalence and Determinants of Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity: A Cross-Sectional Study of Sociodemographic, Dietary, and Lifestyle Factors Among Adolescent Girls in Jutiapa, Guatemala

Posted on 2021-06-24 - 00:12

As the incidence of overweight continues to increase among children and adolescents in Guatemala, underweight remains a prominent health problem. However, the prevalence of overweight or underweight and associated risk factors has not been investigated among adolescent girls.


To determine the prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity and associated sociodemographic, dietary, and lifestyle factors among adolescent girls in Jutiapa, Guatemala.


A cross-sectional study of a subsample of 392 girls aged 12 to 17 years from an agriculture-nutrition trial was conducted. Anthropometric data were obtained using standard methods. Sociodemographic, dietary, and lifestyle data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted using underweight (body mass index [BMI] for age <5th percentile) and overweight/obesity (BMI for age ≥85th percentile) as outcome variables.


The prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity was 9.9% and 15.6%, respectively. Age (15-17 years), high waist circumference, high blood pressure, father being a farmer, large family (>5 persons), hours spent watching TV, and high red meat consumption were significantly associated with underweight. Whereas being in school, high waist circumference, high blood pressure, overweight/obese mother, unemployed father, watching TV for more than 2 hours, having soft drinks at home, and meeting fruit recommendations were significantly associated with overweight/obesity.


Our findings highlight the importance of concurrently addressing underweight and overweight/obesity among adolescent girls in rural Guatemala. Studies in various parts of the country are needed to confirm the results of the present study and for appropriate strategies to be implemented to reduce both underweight and overweight.


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Food and Nutrition Bulletin


Kimberly L. Parra
Halimatou S. Alaofe
John E. Ehiri
Velia Leybas Nuño
Manolo Mazariegos
Brenda Garcia
Estefania Martinez
Anna Junkins
Pauline Jolly
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