AN INVESTIGATION OF THE SOCIOECONOMIC DETERMINANTS OF OBESITY IN NIGERIA
The ongoing demographic and epidemiologic transitions in Nigeria are some of the possible reasons why the prevalence of obesity is increasing in Nigeria. The economic impact of obesity in Nigeria may result to a decrease in productivity. Policies have been put in place by the Federal Government to reduce the prevalence of obesity in Nigeria. However, the nature and magnitude of policies put in place are important to note. It is based on this premise that this study investigates the socioeconomic determinants of obesity in Nigeria. The simultaneous equation model was used to analyse the study with a cross sectional data sourced from the Demographic and Health Survey 2013. A dummy variable was created to represent the regions in Nigeria. The result established that the socioeconomic determinants of obesity in Nigeria are wealth index, occupation, region, gender and frequency of watching television. Wealth index has a positive impact on body mass index. The study also investigated whether obesity varies across geopolitical zones in Nigeria and it was discovered that region has a greater impact on body mass index as it varies significantly across regions. All other regions have a higher body mass index except the regions of North West and South West. It was found that individuals from the North East, South South and South East have higher body mass index than those who live in North Central, North West and South West. The study therefore recommends that efforts should be made by the government to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth and also create awareness on the need for a proper healthy lifestyle to check undue increase in body mass (obesity). Also, individuals whose occupations are prone to increased body size or low body movement should engage in regular physical exercise to check obesity.