University of Oulu

Amegah, A.K., Boachie, J., Näyhä, S. et al. Association of biomass fuel use with reduced body weight of adult Ghanaian women. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 30, 670–679 (2020).

Association of biomass fuel use with reduced body weight of adult Ghanaian women

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Author: Amegah, A. Kofi1; Boachie, Johnmark1; Näyhä, Simo2;
Organizations: 1Public Health Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2019-08-25


The association of biomass fuel use with body weight has never been investigated. We therefore examined the effect of biomass fuel use on body weight of adult Ghanaian women. Data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, a nationally representative population-based survey was analysed for this study. A total of 4751 women who had anthropometric (height and weight) data qualified for inclusion in this study. In linear regression modelling, charcoal use resulted in 3.08 kg (95% CI: 2.04, 4.12) and 0.81 kg/m² (95%CI: 0.29, 1.33) reduction in weight and body mass index (BMI), respectively, compared to clean fuel (electricity, liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas) use. Use of wood resulted in much higher reduction in weight and BMI. In modified Poisson regression, charcoal users had 19% (Adjusted Prevalence Ratio [aPR] = 0.81; 95%CI: 0.71, 0.92) and 29% (aPR = 0.71; 95%CI: 0.61, 0.83) decreased risk of overweight and obesity, respectively, compared to clean fuel users. Wood users had much higher decreased risk of overweight and obesity. In conclusion, biomass fuel use was associated with reduced body weight and BMI of Ghanaian women and is the first report on the relationship. However, it is important that our findings are confirmed and the biological mechanisms elucidated through rigorous study designs.

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Series: Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology
ISSN: 1559-0631
ISSN-E: 1559-064X
ISSN-L: 1559-0631
Volume: 30
Issue: 4
Pages: 670 - 679
DOI: 10.1038/s41370-019-0129-2
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Copyright information: © Springer Nature America, Inc. 2019. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. The final authenticated version is available online at: