Examining and comparing the perceptions of obesity between Canadians and Nigerians: A cross-sectional study

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University of New Brunswick


Obesity prevalence has increased globally in the past fifty years and is predicted to increase further. Disease perception may profoundly impact health outcomes by influencing individual behaviour. This study examines and compares the perceptions of obesity between Canadians and Nigerians. Adults from Canada (n=878; mean age = 47.6years; mean body mass index [BMI] = 36.4 kg/m2 ) and Nigeria (n=516; mean age = 39.9years; mean BMI = 26.1 kg/m2 ) completed an online survey assessing levels of agreement with perceptions of obesity and weight bias. Whilst there were significant large to medium differences in the agreement with obesity messages (p<0.001), there were significant but small differences in the perceived causes of obesity (p<0.001). Both countries showed high levels of support for many obesity interventions. Canada and Nigeria showed differences and similarities in their levels of agreement with different measures of obesity perception and weight bias.