Correlations of Anthropometric Measurements Among Pregnant Women Residing in Arusha City, Tanzania

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Safiness Msollo


Overweight, Obesity, perception, knowledge, Adults


Adequate nutrition during pregnancy is a key for early prevention of poor pregnancy outcomes and future diet related non-communicable diseases. The study aimed to determine the correlations between body mass index with body fat percentage and mid-upper arm circumference to simplify nutrition status assessments among pregnant women. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2018 at Kaloleni and Ngarenaro antenatal clinics among 468 pregnant women. The body fat percentage was measured using bioelectric impedance analyzer™; mid-upper arm circumference by a non-stretchable mid-upper arm circumference tape; weight using a SECA™ scale, and height by a stadiometer. Demographic information was gathered by face-to-face interview using a questionnaire with structured questions and data analyzed by SPSS™ Version 20. The participants were found to have a mean age of 28 years (SD ± 6), gestational age of 28 weeks (SD ± 3.82), mid-upper arm circumference of 27 centimeters (SD ± 3.7), body fat percentage of 33.7 (SD ± 7.2) and body mass index during pregnancy of 27 kg/m2 (SD ± 5.5). About 36% of the pregnant women had mid-upper arm circumference of ≥ 28cm and 37% were overweight and 22.2 % obese based on body mass index. Among 238 pregnant women who recalled their weight before pregnancy, 25.2% were overweight and 22.7% were obese using categories for a normal adult. Partial correlations showed that, body mass index is positively correlated with body fat percentage (r = 0.701, p < 0.001) and mid-upper arm circumference (r = 0.661, p < 0.001). In addition, mid-upper arm circumference and body fat percentage have strong positive correlation (r = 0.774, p < 0.001) even after controlled for maternal and gestational age. There are positive significant correlations among pre-pregnancy body mass index with percentage body fat, and mid-upper arm circumferences, hence, useable during pregnancy to address challenges associated with BMI.

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