Anthropometric Indices of Obesity and Potential Health Risk in Adult Rural Population from Bačka and Banat – The Republic of Serbia

Tatjana Pavlica, Rada Rakić, Dejan Sakač


Obesity, along with other unhealthy living habits, nowadays represents one of the greatest risk factors for various diseases. Vojvodina is a part of Serbia where a high percentage of the overweight has been recorded since the period of former Yugoslavia.The aim of this study therefore was to determine the percentage of adults with potential health risk using the indices of obesity. The anthropological study was conducted from 2001 to 2006. The tested group consisted of 4504 individuals, 1965 men and 2539 women. The mean age of the sample was 40.61±11.29. The data were collected in 46 villages in Bačka and Banat, in the central and north-east parts of Vojvodina, situated in the north of Serbia. The investigation included the height, weight, waist and hip circumference. Nutritional condition was determined using the body mass index (BMI kg/m2), while the waist circumference and WHR were used for assessing the central obesity. According to the average BMI (26.86kg/m2 males, 25.80 kg/m2 females), the population of Bačka and Banat  is characterised with pre-obesity. In total, 58.47% individuals of both sexes are with excessive body weight, 38.52% of them being classified as overweight and 19.48% as obese. Central obesity is more frequent in males aged up to 40, while in females it is more present above the age of 50. A higher waist circumference (males≥94 cm; females≥80 cm) is observed in 58% of males and 55% of females, with the risk value (males≥102 cm; females≥88 cm) recorded in 32% of men and women. The indices of obesity indicate a potential health risk for more than a half of the subjects in this study. The data therefore point to the necessity of introducing educational programs for promoting good nutrition and healthy living habits that would ultimately reduce the number of individuals with health risk.


body mass index, men, women, waist to hip ratio, the north of Serbia

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