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Evidence for factors associated with diet and physical activity in African and Caribbean countries.

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Turner-Moss, Eleanor 
Razavi, Ahmed 
Unwin, Nigel 
Foley, Louise 
Global Diet and Activity Research Group and Network 


OBJECTIVE: To identify and describe summarized evidence on factors associated with diet and physical activity in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and the Caribbean by performing a scoping review of reviews. METHODS: We searched the Medline®, LILACS, Scopus, Global Health and Web of Science databases for reviews of factors associated with diet or physical activity published between 1998 and 2019. At least 25% of studies in reviews had to come from African or Caribbean countries. Factors were categorized using Dahlgren and Whitehead's social model of health. There was no quality appraisal. FINDINGS: We identified 25 reviews: 13 on diet, four on physical activity and eight on both. Eighteen articles were quantitative systematic reviews. In 12 reviews, 25-50% of studies were from Africa or the Caribbean. Only three included evidence from the Caribbean. Together, the 25 reviews included primary evidence published between 1926 and 2018. Little of the summarized evidence concerned associations between international health or political factors and diet or associations between any factor and physical activity across all categories of the social model of health. CONCLUSION: The scoping review found a wide range of factors reported to be associated with diet and physical activity in Africa and the Caribbean, but summarized evidence that could help inform policies encouraging behaviours linked to healthy diets and physical activity in these regions were lacking. Further reviews are needed to inform policy where the evidence exists, and to establish whether additional primary research is needed.



Africa, Caribbean Region, Diet, Diet, Healthy, Exercise, Female, Humans, Income, Politics, Pregnancy, Socioeconomic Factors

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Bull World Health Organ

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WHO Press
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (16/137/34)