Mal J Nutr 22(3): 335 - 344, 2016

Plasma Antioxidant Vitamins Are Not Related to Body Mass Index but Socio-demographic Factors among Apparently Healthy Nigerians Resident in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
Ugwuja EI1,2, Famurewa AC3, Obuna AJ4, Uro-Chukwu H5 & Ejikeme BN4


ABSTRACT

Introduction: Existing literature suggests that oxidative stress may be an important underlying denominator for obesity development and its co-morbidities. The beneficial role of antioxidants in the prevention of oxidative stress and development of diseases is well known. The present study explored the associations between antioxidant vitamins and body mass index (BMI) with other health-related factors in apparently healthy Nigerians.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 443 apparently healthy adults aged 18-83 years (mean 38.4±13.7 years) were recruited. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the socio-demographic data of the participants while weight (kg) and height (m) were determined using standard procedures. Participants were categorised as underweight (n=18), normal weight (n=259), overweight (n=124) and obese (n=42) in accordance with WHO BMI classification. Blood samples were collected for determination of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E using HPLC.
Results: The prevalence of obesity in our study population was 9.5%. Obesity and overweight were found to be more prevalent among the artisans and individuals with secondary education. Vitamins A, C and E levels were not significantly different (p>0.05) among the BMI groups.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrate a non-significant relationship between plasma antioxidant vitamins and BMI in apparently healthy Nigerians in Abakaliki. However, our study suggests that secondary education and the middle age group (31-40 years) may be associated with overweight and obesity.

Keywords: Antioxidant vitamins, body mass index, obesity, overweight, sociodemographic factors, underweight

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