The pattern of body weight abnormality amongst persons in their early adulthood in Ota, Southwest Nigeria was investigated. A total of 341 healthy young adults (194 male; 147 female), aged 20 – 35 years participated in the study. Anthropometric measurements and WHO cut-offs were used to categorize their body weights into normal weight, underweight, overweight and obesity. Males were significantly (p<0.05) bigger in size (weight and height) than females. Body weight abnormality was higher in females (36.0%) than males (23.7%). Underweight was prevalent (12.9%) amongst females but low (2.6%) in males; 2.7% of females were severely underweight. The most prevalent abnormality was overweight (19.7% in females; 18.6% in males) whereas obesity was the least (3.4% in females; 2.6% in males). Gender differences appear to influence the body weights of the young adults in Ota, Nigeria. The study suggests a dual challenge of malnutrition and over-nutrition amongst females.
Key words: BMI, body weight abnormality, underweight, overweight, obesity, early adulthood.
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