Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Self-Determined Majors

First Advisor

Catherine Berheide

Second Advisor

Jennifer McDonald


Malnutrition exists in multiple forms when a person has an imbalanced intake of food and or vitamins. We include nutrition related illness such obesity and undernutrition in our understanding of malnutrition. The obesity pandemic has historically been associated with developed countries, however processes of globalization have led to socioeconomic development, higher incomes and urbanization which have contributed to the increasing prevalence of obesity in Sub-Saharan African countries. The nutrition transition theory has been used to discuss the major shift in diet and activity patterns at the population level. However, these changes are accompanied by a country’s economic and demographic shifts. This paper examines the obesity rates in 39 Sub Saharan African countries. This paper reviews four macro environmental predictors; Gross National Income (GNI), urban population, current health expenditures, and basic sanitation service in urban areas, on obesity rates in 39 Sub-Saharan African countries. The analysis found a strong correlation between GNI and obesity rates and a strong correlation between Urban Population and obesity rates in my analysis. The impact of higher incomes and higher urban population on obesity rates in these countries is a public health concern because of the associated risks for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases.

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