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Dramatic Rise in Overweight and Obesity in Adult Filipino Women and Risk of Hypertension


Adair, Linda S. (2004). Dramatic Rise in Overweight and Obesity in Adult Filipino Women and Risk of Hypertension. Obesity Research, 12(8), 1335-1341.


Objective: To assess trends in BMI of adult Filipino women over a 16-year period of rapid socioeconomic change; to identify factors associated with those trends; and to estimate the risk of hypertension associated with overweight, obesity, and high waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).

Research Methods and Procedures: Women from randomly selected urban and rural communities of Metro Cebu, Philippines were recruited during a 1983 to 1984 index pregnancy, then followed prospectively for 16 years. Overweight and obesity were defined using BMI cut-off points of 25 and 30, respectively. The analysis sample included women 15 to 45 years of age when measured 4 months postpartum. Weight change in subsequent intervals from 1985 to 1999 was modeled using linear regression. The relationship of BMI and WHR to risk of hypertension in the last survey was modeled using logistic regression.

Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity combined increased nearly 6-fold from ~6% in 1983 to 1984 to 35% in 1998 to 1999. Weight gain was positively associated with urban residence, improved socioeconomic status, fewer pregnancies and months of lactation, and more away-from-home work hours. Risk of hypertension was independently elevated by high WHR and overweight/obesity.

Discussion: The dramatic trend of increasing overweight and obesity in this sample of women represents a serious health concern, especially in light of the strong association of excess weight, particularly in the truncal region, to risk of hypertension.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Obesity Research


Adair, Linda S.