Characteristics associated with being overweight among the population of Ukraine, results of 2000 survey


  • Natalia Chagarna School of Public Health, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine
  • Tatiana I Andreeva School of Public Health, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine


BACKGROUND. Being overweight is considered among major risk factors of chronic non-communicable diseases. The goal of this study was to investigate main determinants associated with being overweight and obese among the population of Ukraine in transitional period.
METHODS. Data from the survey “Health and Well-being in the Transitions” (2000) were used. Body mass index (BMI) was used to estimate the level of overweight. Binary dependent variable was computed by setting BMI of 25 as the borderline between normal weight and overweight. Risk of being overweight was compared by educational groups, demographic characteristics, occupation, level of physical activity, and behavioral and eating habits, after adjustment for age and stratification by gender.
RESULTS. Among men, those overweight were less likely to smoke (adjusted odds ratio 2,5), while more likely to eat meat more often (AOR=2,3) and to consume more vegetable oil. However, among women being overweight was associated with eating more potatoes (AOR = 0,4) and with frequent vodka intake (AOR = 1,7). Those women who drank beer were less likely to be overweight (AOR = 0,3). Risk of being overweight was related to occupation: those unemployed, housekeepers, and self-employed people were less likely to be overweight than those employed with salaries. Obesity risk was greater in those older than 30. Education and physical activity did not show significant associations with risk of being overweight.
CONCLUSION. Eating habits, occupational status, and unhealthy habits were associated with obesity among men and women in different ways. Age was found to be an important factor of being overweight both for males and females. Some of the associated characteristics may be considered causes of being overweight and the others as consequences.