Prevalence and factors associated with obesity amongst employees of Open-Cast Diamond Mine in Namibia
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Background: NAMDEB is a Namibian alluvial diamond mining company, owned in equal shares by the government of republic of Namibia and De Beers. It is mining in the open-cast mines along the southern coast of Namibia, using various methods and equipments such as bowl scrapers, bulldozers, trackdozers and excavators. NAMDEB have got different mining site, where employees are residing in hostels near the mine. One of those mines is the Pocket Beaches mine where this study took place. The study investigated the prevalence and factors associated with obesity amongst employees of Pocket Beaches mine. Obesity rates are increasing at an alarming rate worldwide; 1.2 billion people worldwide are overweight of which 300 million are clinically obese. Of concern is that obesity is a risk factor for many diseases including hypertension, diabetes and other forms of cancers. Although there are several mine workers who on reporting to occupational health services for minor ailment are found to be overweight or obese, we are not certain of the extent of the problem. The health risk associated with obesity could cause a big loss to NAMDEB in terms of care cost, low productivity and absenteeism. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and determinants of obesity amongst NAMDEB employees working at Pocket Beaches diamond mine Study design: a descriptive, cross-sectional study measured the prevalence of obesity and describes the factors that are associated with obesity and overweight. Study population: NAMDEB employees who were working at Pocket Beaches mine. A simple random sampling technique was used to select participants. 87 employees were selected from 188 total NAMDEB employees working at Pocket Beaches mine. Data collection: Data was collected through interviews. Anthropometric measurements namely weight, height and abdominal circumference were collected using a standard protocol. Analysis: Data was analyzed using Epi Info 2002. Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated as kg/m2. Overweight was defined as BMI = 25 to 29.9 kg/m2 and obesity as BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2. Waist Circumference ≥80 cm was used to identify central obesity in women and ≥90 cm in men. The frequency of participation in physical activity, barriers to physical activity and food consumption is reported in percent and means. Result: The study found prevalence 42% overweight and 32% obesity among employees of NAMDEB. A significant number of participants 48% never participate in moderate exercise per week. 71% of participants reported lack of motivation to exercise and too tired after work as the major barriers to physical activity. The consumption of fatty foods such as fried chicken and fried meat was common among study subjects. A large number of respondents 79% eat fried chicken regularly while 74% eat fried meat regularly. 79% of participants consumed inadequate fruits and vegetable (1 fruit and vegetable per day). The two most mentioned reasons for low fruits and vegetables consumption were lack of fruits and vegetables in hostel food menu and 14% don’t like fruits.