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Association of biomass fuel use with reduced body weight of adult Ghanaian women


The association of biomass fuel use with body weight has never been investigated. We therefore examined the effect of biomass fuel use on body weight of adult Ghanaian women. Data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, a nationally representative population-based survey was analysed for this study. A total of 4751 women who had anthropometric (height and weight) data qualified for inclusion in this study. In linear regression modelling, charcoal use resulted in 3.08 kg (95% CI: 2.04, 4.12) and 0.81 kg/m2 (95%CI: 0.29, 1.33) reduction in weight and body mass index (BMI), respectively, compared to clean fuel (electricity, liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas) use. Use of wood resulted in much higher reduction in weight and BMI. In modified Poisson regression, charcoal users had 19% (Adjusted Prevalence Ratio [aPR] = 0.81; 95%CI: 0.71, 0.92) and 29% (aPR = 0.71; 95%CI: 0.61, 0.83) decreased risk of overweight and obesity, respectively, compared to clean fuel users. Wood users had much higher decreased risk of overweight and obesity. In conclusion, biomass fuel use was associated with reduced body weight and BMI of Ghanaian women and is the first report on the relationship. However, it is important that our findings are confirmed and the biological mechanisms elucidated through rigorous study designs.

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The authors would like to thank Measure DHS for granting them permission to use the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) data set for this research. We received no funding for this work.

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Correspondence to A. Kofi Amegah.

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Amegah, A.K., Boachie, J., Näyhä, S. et al. Association of biomass fuel use with reduced body weight of adult Ghanaian women. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 30, 670–679 (2020).

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