Overweight and obesity constitute global public health problems with consequences on health and productivity of workers. This study was designed to describe the gender variation in the factors associated with overweight, obesity and hypertension among civil servants in Lagos, Nigeria. This comparative cross-sectional study was conducted in 280 civil servants recruited from seven local government areas in Lagos state using random sampling technique. A pre-tested, interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-demographic and anthropometric characteristics and blood pressure. Weight, height and waist circumference (WC) were measured using standard procedure. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test at p = 0.05. Age was 44.8 ± 8.5 years, 68.2% were males and 80.4% were married. About 64% had tertiary education; higher in males (70.7%) than females (49.4%). The crude prevalence of overweight and obesity was 70.7%. Overweight was significantly higher in males (61.7%) than females (52.3%) while obesity was significantly higher in females (47.7%) than males (38.3%). Abdominal obesity was more common in males (31.6%) than females (23.1%). Body mass index was higher in females (28.05 ± 4.9) compared to males (27.83 ± 5.8); WC was higher in females (94.6 ± 10.0) than males (93.08 ± 12.6). Obesity was predominant among civil servants aged 51 to 60 years in both gender groups. Systolic blood pressure (BP) was higher in females (124.08 ± 19.8) than males (122.4 ± 22.8) whereas diastolic BP was higher in males (84.3 ± 13.1) than females (83.7 ± 12.1). The prevalence of hypertension was 42.9%; higher in females (44.6%) than males (42.1%). Among female civil servants, overweight and obesity were significantly associated with age, education while among males they were significantly associated with grade level. Overweight, obesity and hypertension are high among civil servants; prevalence and associated factors differ by gender. Gender-sensitive public health intervention is hereby recommended to influence health behavior of civil servants.
Key words: Overweight, obesity, civil servants.
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