• Overview
  • Obesity prevalence
  • Trends over time
  • Population breakdowns
  • Drivers
  • Comorbidities
  • Policies
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Obesity prevalence

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Age:18-69
Sample size:3993
Area covered:National
References:Zambia STEPS Survey 2017. https://www.who.int/ncds/surveillance/steps/Zambia-NCD-STEPS-Survey-Report-2017.pdf?ua=1 (accessed 21.01.20)
Notes:STEPS Survey
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2013-2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:14502
Area covered:National
References:DHS Zambia 2013-14
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.

Women, 2007

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:6085
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey 2007
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2001-2002

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:6591
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey 2001 - 2002.
Notes:Other married women 15 - 49 years.
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 1992

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:3239
References:Martorell R, Khan LK, Hughes ML, Grummer Strawn LM. Obesity in women from developing countries. EJCN (2000) 54;247-252
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 education

Women, 2013-2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:14502
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey 2013-14
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.

Overweight/obesity by age

Adults, 2017

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:3993
Area covered:National
References:Zambia STEPS Survey 2017. https://www.who.int/ncds/surveillance/steps/Zambia-NCD-STEPS-Survey-Report-2017.pdf?ua=1 (accessed 21.01.20)
Unless otherwise noted, overweight refers to a BMI between 25kg and 29.9kg/m², obesity refers to a BMI greater than 30kg/m².

Women, 2013-2014

Survey type:Measured
Sample size:14502
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey 2013-14
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.

Overweight/obesity by region

Women, 2013-2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:14502
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey 2013-14
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.

Women, 2013-2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:14502
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey 2013-14
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.

Overweight/obesity by socio-economic group

Women, 2013-2014

Survey type:Measured
Age:15-49
Sample size:14502
Area covered:National
References:Demographic Health Survey 2013-14
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.

Insufficient physical activity

Adults, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Men, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

Women, 2016

References:Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet 2018 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

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)

Children, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
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, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
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, 2010

Age:11-17
References:Global Health Observatory data repository, World Health Organisation, http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A893?lang=en
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)

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)

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, 2005-2020

Area covered:National
References:Zambia Demographic and Health Survey 2018. Lusaka, Zambia, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: Zambia Statistics Agency, Ministry of Health, and ICF
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

Zambia Food Based Dietary Guidelines

The Zambian FBDGs have twelve recommendations for the general public and six recommendations for populations with special nutrition needs. The guidelines have taken into consideration cultural values, food diversity and food consumption patterns prevailing in the country, hence making them very practical and applicable to everyone in Zambian society, regardless of their cultural beliefs and location.

Categories:Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2021 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Zambia Ministry of Agriculture
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Ministry of Agriculture for Zambia and FAO. 2021. Zambia Food-Based Dietary Guidelines. Technical Recommendations 2021. Rome, Italy. Lusaka, Zambia.

Excise tax on all non-alcoholic beverages

In January 2019, Zambia introduced an excise tax on all non-alcoholic beverages except water. The tax rate is K0.30 (US$ 0.02) per litre. This measure is intended to assist in reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes.

Categories:Taxation/Subsidies on Food or Beverages or law relating to public health
Year(s):2019 (ongoing)
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Government
Linked document:Download linked document
References:https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en/node/38189

Zambian Strategic Plan 2013-2016 Non-Communicable diseases and their risk factors

Categories (partial):Evidence of NCD strategy
Year(s):2013-2016
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:Ministry of Health
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Information provided with kind permission of WHO Global database on the Implementation of Nutrition Action (GINA): https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en

National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan for Zambia

Categories (partial):Evidence of Nutritional or Health Strategy/ Guidelines/Policy/Action plan
Year(s):2011-2015
Target age group:Adults and children
Organisation:National Food and Nutrition Commission of Zambia
Linked document:Download linked document
References:Information provided with kind permission of WHO Global database on the Implementation of Nutrition Action (GINA): https://extranet.who.int/nutrition/gina/en

No actions could be found for the above criteria.

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