Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



BMC Public Health


Volume 14

Inclusive Pages

Article number 1126



Obesity and overweight are rising worldwide while underweight rates persist in low-income countries. The aim of this study was to examine changes in the prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity among non-pregnant women aged 15-49 years, and its socio-demographic correlates in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


The data are from 2000, 2005 and 2011 nationally representative Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys in Addis Ababa. The dependent variable was women’s nutritional status measured in terms of body mass index coded in binary outcomes to examine risk of being underweight (<18.5 kg/m2 vs. ≥18.5 kg/m2) or overweight/obese (>25 kg/m2 vs. ≤25 kg/m2). Logistic regression models were used to estimate the strength of associations.


The prevalence of overweight/obesity increased significantly by 28%; while underweight decreased by 21% between 2000 and 2011. Specifically, the prevalence of urban obesity increased by 43.3% i.e., from 3.0% to 4.3% in about 15 years. Overall, more than one-third (34.7%) of women in Addis Ababa were either under or overweight. Women’s age and proxies for high socio-economic status (i.e. household wealth quintile, educational attainment, access to improved source of drinking water, and television watching) were positively associated with being overweight. The correlates of underweight were young age and proxies for low socio-economic status (i.e. low wealth quintile, limited access to improved source of water or toilet facility).


There is a need for policies to recognize the simultaneous public health problems of under and overnutrition, and for programs to target the distinct populations that suffer from these nutrition problems in this urban area.


Reproduced with permission of BioMed Central. BMC Public Health.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access