Obesity and waistline obesity in elderly people in Latin America and the Caribbean: are we fat?

Flavia Andrade, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This study provides estimates of obesity and central obesity in six countries of Latin America and the Caribbean from a large representative sample of elderly individuals. Levels of obesity are so high this region that women in these countries are usually fatter than their counterparts in the United States. Elders from Uruguay have the highest obesity rate followed by those from Chile and Mexico. Elderly men and women from Cuba have the lowest average weight and the lowest prevalence of obesity. Brazilians, Chileans and Mexicans have highest values of waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, which implies that elderly in these countries are at higher risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Men are taller than women and heavier as well (Barbados is an exception), but average body mass index is higher among women. Height and weight tend to decline with increases in age and this may be associated with historical trends and aging itself.

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Presented in Session 103: Changing lifestyles and problems associated with overweight and obesity