Validation of Methods for Measuring Obesity in Tanzania

Validation of Methods for Measuring Obesity in Tanzania

Host Institution: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences  (MUHAS)

Location: Dar Es Salaam

Supervisors: Dr. Germana Leyna – Epidemiology & Applied Statistics (lead)

Dr. Fredirick Mashili – Physiology

Dr. Mary Mayige – Senior researcher in NCD at National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)


Project Description

Obesity is increasingly being recognized as a risk factor of importance in the occurrence of non-communicable diseases. In Tanzania, the prevalence of overweight and obesity follows trends observed in other developing countries where, girls experience more of the burden than boys (12.0% vs.8.9%). The trends also show that the prevalence of obesity is increasing with increase in urbanization and as a larger proportion of the population goes through epidemiological and nutrition transitions. In Tanzania, as in many other countries, obesity is widely measured using anthropometric indexes (weight, height, mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC)), which have been reported to perform deferentially with age, sex and ethnicity. However, the validity and reliability of these anthropometric indexes in estimation of body fat in African children is not known. Therefore, this study aims to validate the use of anthropometric indexes and a physical activity questionnaire in the assessment of body fat and physical activity in children aged 8-11 years in Tanzania.

The intern will be responsible for data manipulation and:

  1. Modeling of body fat composition using anthropometry and comparison with the ‘gold standard’ dilution technique.
  2. Modeling of body fat by perceived body image adjusting for potential con-founders.

Outputs are expected to include:

  1. A table of results of the analysis
  2. At least one draft manuscript in a final pre-submission state

Applications for this internship should be submitted via the online application system, stating clearly the title of the internship

Deadline for applications: December 31st,  2017 at 11:59 PM (EAT).

Any inquiries about these internships should be sent to: