• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Policies
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Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2018

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-69
Sample size:3666
Area covered:National
References:Afghanistan STEPS Survey 2018 https://extranet.who.int/ncdsmicrodata/index.php/catalog/782 (Last Accessed 03.11.2020)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:25-65
Sample size:1106
Area covered:Regional
References:Prevalence of risk factors for noncommunicable diseases in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan, evaluated using the WHO STEPwise approach K.M.I. Saeed, M.H. Rasooly, and A. Alkozai https://www.who.int/ncds/surveillance/steps/Afghanistan_2013_STEPS_Survey_Article.pdf
Notes:USES STEPS methodology This replaces previously unpublished version
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-59
Sample size:11124
Area covered:National
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Children, 2014

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:13-17
Sample size:2579
Area covered:National
References:Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS), available at https://www.who.int/ncds/surveillance/gshs/2014-GSHS-Afghanistan-fact-sheet.pdf?ua=1 (last accessed 25.11.20)
Notes:WHO cutoffs.
Cutoffs:WHO

Girls, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:10-19
Sample size:5808
Area covered:National
References:National Nutrition Survey Afghanistan 2013. Survey Report. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Report%20NNS%20Afghanistan%202013%20(July%2026-14).pdf. [Last Accessed 16th January 2019].
Notes:WHO cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:WHO

Overweight/obesity by education

Adults, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
Sample size:1200
Area covered:Jalalabad City
References:Saeed KMI. Prevalence and associated risk factors for Obesity in Jalabad city - Afghanistan. Alexandria Journal of Medicine (2015) 51, 347–352
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Girls, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-19
Sample size:5808
Area covered:National
References:National Nutrition Survey Afghanistan 2013. Survey Report. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Report%20NNS%20Afghanistan%202013%20(July%2026-14).pdf. [Last Accessed 16th January 2019].
Notes:WHO cut-offs used
Cutoffs:WHO

Overweight/obesity by age

Women, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:11124
Area covered:National
References:National Nutrition Survey Afghanistan 2013. Survey Report. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Report%20NNS%20Afghanistan%202013%20(July%2026-14).pdf. [Last Accessed 16th January 2019].
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Girls, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:5808
Area covered:National
References:National Nutrition Survey Afghanistan 2013. Survey Report. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Report%20NNS%20Afghanistan%202013%20(July%2026-14).pdf. [Last Accessed 16th January 2019].
Notes:WHO cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:WHO

Overweight/obesity by region

Adults, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:1200
Area covered:Regional - Jalalabad
References:Profile of risk factors for noncommunicable diseases in major cities of Afghanistan: WHO STEPwise approach. https://applications.emro.who.int/emhj/v26/04/10203397-2020-2604-388-399.pdf (last accessed 19.05.2022)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:1231
Area covered:Regional - Mazar-e-Sharif
References:Profile of risk factors for noncommunicable diseases in major cities of Afghanistan: WHO STEPwise approach. https://applications.emro.who.int/emhj/v26/04/10203397-2020-2604-388-399.pdf (last accessed 19.05.2022)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:1129
Area covered:Regional - Hirat
References:Profile of risk factors for noncommunicable diseases in major cities of Afghanistan: WHO STEPwise approach. https://applications.emro.who.int/emhj/v26/04/10203397-2020-2604-388-399.pdf (last accessed 19.05.2022)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:1165
Area covered:Regional - Kandahar
References:Profile of risk factors for noncommunicable diseases in major cities of Afghanistan: WHO STEPwise approach. https://applications.emro.who.int/emhj/v26/04/10203397-2020-2604-388-399.pdf (last accessed 19.05.2022)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Adults, 2015

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:1172
Area covered:Regional - Kabul
References:Profile of risk factors for noncommunicable diseases in major cities of Afghanistan: WHO STEPwise approach. https://applications.emro.who.int/emhj/v26/04/10203397-2020-2604-388-399.pdf (last accessed 19.05.2022)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Overweight/obesity by socio-economic group

Women, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:11,124
Area covered:National
References:National Nutrition Survey Afghanistan 2013. Survey Report. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Report%20NNS%20Afghanistan%202013%20(July%2026-14).pdf. [Last Accessed 16th January 2019].
Notes:Demographic Health Survey data includes ever married women aged 15-49 years only and may include males aged 15-59.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Girls, 2013

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-19
Sample size:5808
Area covered:National
References:National Nutrition Survey Afghanistan 2013. Survey Report. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Report%20NNS%20Afghanistan%202013%20(July%2026-14).pdf. [Last Accessed 16th January 2019].
Notes:WHO cut-offs used.
Cutoffs:WHO

Insufficient physical activity

Children, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Boys, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Girls, 2016

Survey type:Self-reported
Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, https://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893ADO?lang=en (last accessed 16.03.21)
Notes:% of school going adolescents not meeting WHO recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, i.e. doing less than 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
Definitions:% Adolescents insufficiently active (age standardised estimate)

Average daily frequency of carbonated soft drink consumption

Children, 2009-2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:12-17
References:Beal et al. (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287 sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system

Estimated per capita fruit intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita fruit intake (g/day)

Prevalence of less than daily fruit consumption

Children, 2008-2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:12-17
References:Global School-based Student Health Surveys. Beal et al (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287. Sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system
Definitions:Prevalence of less-than-daily fruit consumption (% less-than-daily fruit consumption)

Prevalence of less than daily vegetable consumption

Children, 2008-2015

Survey type:Measured
Age:12-17
References:Beal et al. (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287 sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system
Definitions:Prevalence of less-than-daily vegetable consumption (% less-than-daily vegetable consumption)

Average weekly frequency of fast food consumption

Children, 2009-2015

Age:12-17
References:Beal et al. (2019). Global Patterns of Adolescent Fruit, Vegetable, Carbonated Soft Drink, and Fast-food consumption: A meta-analysis of global school-based student health surveys. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. https://doi.org/10.1177/0379572119848287 sourced from Food Systems Dashboard http://www.foodsystemsdashboard.org/food-system

Estimated per-capita processed meat intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita processed meat intake (g per day)

Estimated per capita whole grains intake

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:25+
References:Global Burden of Disease, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation http://ghdx.healthdata.org/
Definitions:Estimated per-capita whole grains intake (g/day)

Mental health - depression disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with depression disorders

Mental health - anxiety disorders

Adults, 2015

References:Prevalence data from Global Burden of Disease study 2015 (http://ghdx.healthdata.org) published in: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva:World Health Organization; 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Definitions:% of population with anxiety disorders

% Infants exclusively breastfed 0-5 months

Children, 2010-2019

Area covered:National
References:Afghanistan Health Survey 2018
Notes:See UNICEF website for further survey information. Available at : https://data.unicef.org/resources/dataset/infant-young-child-feeding/ (last accessed 28.9.21) Citation: United Nations Children’s Fund, Division of Data, Analysis, Planning and Monitoring (2021). Global UNICEF Global Databases: Infant and Young Child Feeding: Exclusive breastfeeding, New York, September 2021.
Definitions:% exclusively breastfed 0-5 months

Oesophageal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, oesophagus, adults ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Breast cancer

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, breast, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Colorectal cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, colorectum, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Pancreatic cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, pancreas, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Gallbladder cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, gallbladder, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Kidney cancer

Men, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, kidney, adults, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Cancer of the uterus

Women, 2018

Age:20+
References:Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer incidence rates http://gco.iarc.fr/ (last accessed 30th June 2020)
Definitions:Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (World) in 2018, cervix uteri, females, ages 20+. ASR (World) per 100,000

Raised blood pressure

Adults, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Men, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Women, 2015

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A875?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised estimated % Raised blood pressure 2015 (SBP>=140 OR DBP>=90).

Raised cholesterol

Adults, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Men, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Women, 2008

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A885
Definitions:% Raised total cholesterol (>= 5.0 mmol/L) (age-standardized estimate).

Raised fasting blood glucose

Men, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Women, 2014

References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A869?lang=en
Definitions:Age Standardised % raised fasting blood glucose (>= 7.0 mmol/L or on medication).

Diabetes prevalence

Adults, 2021

Age:20-79
Area covered:National
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation.  IDF Diabetes Atlas, 10th edn. Brussels, Belgium:International Diabetes Federation, 2021. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Age-adjusted comparative prevalence of diabetes, %

Adults, 2019

Age:20-79
References:Reproduced with kind permission International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 9th edn. Brussels,Belgium: 2019. Available at: https://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Adults, 2017

References:Reproduced with kind permission of IDF, International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. http://www.diabetesatlas.org
Definitions:Diabetes age-adjusted comparative prevalence (%).

Policies, Interventions and Actions

Afghanistan Food Security and Nutrition Plan 2019 to 2023

This Food Security and Nutrition Plan (AFSeN) is a nationwide sectoral document built upon the AFSeN-Agenda (AFSeN-A) to achieve the overall goal of improving the food security and nutrition situation of Afghan people, so that they can become food-secure, well-nourished, healthy, and productive, as per the Vision.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2019-2023
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Government
Linked document:Download linked document
References:https://www.fao.org/faolex/results/details/en/c/LEX-FAOC191005

National Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for Afghans – A Manual

The messages of the guidelines are intended for the general public. Specific recommendations for pregnant and lactating women, infants and young children are also included, as they are more nutritionally vulnerable.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2015 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Public Health
Linked document:Download linked document

National Public Nutrition Policy and Strategy 2015-2020

The goal of this strategy is to reduce nutrition related mortality and morbidity and contribute to economic development of the nation through reduction in all forms of malnutrition particularly stunting, micronutrients deficiency and acute malnutrition, with focus on the first 1000 days of life.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2015-2020
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Public Health
Linked document:Download linked document
References:https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en/node/39372 (Accessed 28.01.22)

National Strategy for Prevention and Control of NoncommunicableDiseases (NCDs) 2015-2020

The goal of this strategy is to prevent or delay the onset of noncommunicable diseases (including road injuries) and their related complications, and improve their management, thus enhancing the quality of life of the Afghan population, leading to longer and more productive lives. The strategy has 6 strategic objectives.

Categories:Evidence of NCD strategy
Year(s):2015-2020
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Public Health
Linked document:Download linked document
References:https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en/node/40335 (Accessed 28.01.22)

Breastfeeding support and strengthening regulation 2009

Objectives of this regulation are: 1- Ensure the physical and mental health of mother and child; 2- Ensure safe and sufficient feeding of a baby through supporting and promotion of breastfeeding; 3- Ensure proper use of specific products; 4- Encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies; 5- Feed a baby with mother’s milk supplementary food; 6- Provide healthy food to a baby by using healthy foodstuff.

Categories (partial):Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2009 (ongoing)
Target age group:Children
Organisation:Government
Linked document:Download linked document

No actions could be found for the above criteria.

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