Does Obesity Exist in Developing Countries? Evaluation of a Rural Clinic Population in the Dominican Republic
AffiliationThe University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
MeSH SubjectsGlobal Health
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractThere is a growing obesity prevalence in developed and developing countries. According to the WHO, in 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight and 600 million of them were obese while 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. Therefore, we are also seeing an increased prevalence of obesity related comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension. This study aims to determine the obesity rate in the bateys in the Dominican Republic (DR), compare it to the US obesity rates US, and determine necessary interventions to prevent further complications from the growing obesity epidemic. Patients were evaluated in mobile clinics in the bateys in the DR during medical service trips in 2016 by UACOMP Global Health teams. A retrospective chart review was performed to collect patients’ age, sex, height, and weight. The BMI was calculated for each patient. Pediatric (<18 y) patients’ BMI was recorded as a percentile based on age. Compared to the US pediatric population, there was a difference of 3.6% in overweight children and 4.4% in obese children among the clinic patients in the bateyes. Approximately 55% of the bateyes’ adult population was overweight (BMI>25-30) versus 31% in the US. About 23%of the bateyes’ adult patients was obese (BMI≥30) compared to 36% in the US. These results indicate a growing obesity epidemic in the rural farming villages in the DR that is like the trend in the US. We hope to implement public health interventions by educating this population about the dangers of obesity and its associated comorbidities, including coronary artery disease and diabetes.