Background: Overweight and obesity are an important public health problem in society, due to the growth in all age groups and their association with various chronic diseases, especially hypertension Objective: To investigate possible factors associated with changes in body mass index (BMI). Methods: Study developed in the city of Nova Andradina, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, with 369 subjects registered in the Family Health Strategy Program in 2007. Data were collected at the subjects' homes, by using a semi-structured interview and by an anthropometric assessment. In the analysis of data, we used the Chi-square and Mantel Haenszel tests, for categorical responses, and ANOVA and Tukey tests, for continuous responses Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 33.3% and 23.0%, respectively. Most of the individuals had the following characteristics: they were female (85.4%), physically inactive (89.7%), their waist-hip ratio (WHR) was inadequate (83.7%) and they had some chronic health problem (31.9%), especially hypertension. Risk factors for overweight and obesity may be linked to variables such as widowed status, inadequate WHR, lower income and health problems. On the other hand, high blood pressure may be linked only to obesity. Conclusion: The percentage of people that were overweight and those who did not do exercises in Nova Andradina indicates that these issues are also an important challenge for the health sector in smaller cities. Therefore, it is urgent that multidisciplinary intervention programs be implemented in primary health care.
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