Obesity and central obesity in Indonesia: evidence from a national health survey

Dante S. Harbuwono, Laurentius A. Pramono, Em Yunir, Imam Subekti

DOI: https://doi.org/10.13181/mji.v27i2.1512


Background: Obesity and central obesity have become serious public health problems in developing countries such as Indonesia. Although 10 years have passed since the largest national health survey was conducted in 2007, no further analysis and publication concerning obesity and central obesity in Indonesia have been conducted based on the survey. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of obesity and central obesity, and its association with sociodemographic characteristics and comorbidities in Indonesia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted based on the National Basic Health Survey 2007 using total sampling method from 33 provinces. Obesity is defined as body mass index ≥25 according to the Asia-Pacific standard for obesity. Central obesity is defined as waist circumference >90 cm for men and > 80 cm for women according to the Asia-Pacific standard for central obesity.

Results: The prevalence of obesity and central obesity in the Indonesian adult population are 23.1% and 28%, respectively. Both rates are higher in females than in males. Obesity and central obesity are associated with the risk of diabetes and hypertension.

Conclusion: Prevalence of obesity and central obesity is high in the Indonesian adult population. Interventional programs are important to promote awareness of obesity and healthy lifestyle changes in the community.


central obesity, epidemiology, Indonesia, obesity

Full Text:



  1. Ellulu M, Abed Y, Rahmat A, Ranneh Y, Ali F. Epidemiology of obesity in developing countries: challenges and prevention. Glob Epidemi Obes. 2014;2(2):1–6. https://doi.org/10.7243/2052-5966-2-2
  2. Cecchini M. Obesity Update. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2014.
  3. Prentice AM. The emerging epidemic of obesity in developing countries. Int J Epidemiol. 2006;35(1):93–9. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyi272
  4. Mihardja L, Soetrisno U. Prevalence and determinant factors for overweight and obesity and degenerative diseases among young adults in Indonesia. JAFES. 2012;27(1):77–81. https://doi.org/10.15605/jafes.027.01.12
  5. Health Research and Development Unit. National Basic Health Survey 2007. Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia, 2008.
  6. Kanazawa M, Yoshiike N, Osaka T, Numba Y, Zimmet P, Inoue S. Criteria and classification of obesity in Japan and Asia-Oceania. World Rev Nutr Diet 2005;94:1–12. https://doi.org/10.1159/000088200
  7. McNeely MJ, Boyko EJ, Shofer JB, Newell-Morris L, Leonetti DL, Fujimoto WY. Standard definitions of overweight and central adiposity for determining diabetes risk in Japanese Americans. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;74(1):101–7. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/74.1.101
  8. Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, Cushman WC, Green LA, Izzo JL, et al. The seventh report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. JAMA. 2003;289(19):2560–72. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.289.19.2560
  9. Adi S, Novida H, Rudijanto A, Soewondo P, Suastika K, Manaf A, et al. Consensus on the management of type 2 diabetes in Indonesia. Jakarta: Indonesian Society of Endocrinology; 2015.
  10. American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association. Recommended amount of physical activity. ACSM/AHA, 2007.
  11. World Bank Report. Indonesia Overview. The World Bank, 2015.
  12. Dinsa GD, Goryakin Y, Fumagalli E, Suhrcke M. Obesity and socioeconomic status in developing countries: a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2012;13(11):1067–79. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2012.01017.x
  13. Kolčić I. Double burden of malnutrition: a silent driver of double burden of disease in low- and middle-income countries. J Glob Health. 2012;2(2):1–6. https://doi.org/10.7189/jogh.02.020303
  14. Health Research and Development Unit. National Basic Health Survey 2013. Ministry of Health Republic of Indonesia, 2014.
  15. Wang Y, Beydoun MA. The obesity epidemic in the United States–gender, age, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and geographic characteristics: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Epidemiol Rev. 2007;29(1):6–28. https://doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxm007
  16. Kanter R, Caballero B. Global gender disparities in obesity: a review. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(4):491–8. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.002063
  17. Al-Hazzaa HM, Abahussain NA, Al-Sobayel HI, Qahwaji DM, Alsulaiman NA, Musaiger AO. Prevalence of overweight, obesity, and abdominal obesity among Urban Saudi adolescents: gender and regional variations. J Health Popul Nutr. 2014;32(4):634–45.
  18. Wang H, Wang J, Liu MM, Wang D, Liu YQ, Zhao Y, et al. Epidemiology of general obesity, abdominal obesity and related risk factors in urban adults from 33 communities of northeast China: the CHPSNE study. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:967. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-967
  19. Aitsi-Selmi A, Chen R, Shipley MJ, Marmot MG. Education is associated with lower levels of abdominal obesity in women with a non-agricultural occupation: an interaction study using China's four provinces survey. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:769. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-769
  20. Pikhart H, Bobak M, Malyutina S, Pajak A, Kubínová R, Marmot M. Obesity and education in three countries of the central and eastern Europe: the Hapiee study. Cent Eur J Public Health. 2007;15(4):140–2.
  21. Xu S, Gao B, Xing Y, Ming J, Bao J, Zhang Q, et al. Gender differences in the prevalence and development of metabolic syndrome in Chinese population with abdominal obesity. PLoS One. 2013;8(10):e78270. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078270
  22. Naser KA, Gruber A, Thomson GA. The emerging pandemic of obesity and diabetes: are we going enough to prevent a disaster? Int J Clin Pract. 2006;60(9):1093–7. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-1241.2006.01003.x
  23. Misra A, Khurana L. Obesity and the metabolic syndrome in developing countries. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93(11 Suppl 1):S9–30. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2008-1595
  24. Teixeira E. The effectiveness of community-based programs for obesity prevention and control. Patient Intell. 2011;3:63–72. https://doi.org/10.2147/PI.S12314

Copyright (c) 2018 Dante S. Harbuwono

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

All articles and issues in Medical Journal of Indonesia have unique DOI number registered in Crossref.
Unique Visitors