5 years ago

Weight gain during incarceration: systematic review and meta-analysis

O. A. Arah, R. A. Nianogo, M. K. Gebremariam
Background Existing evidence suggests that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among prisoners in different settings is high. Evaluating weight change during incarceration would allow for the investigation of whether the prison environment indeed contributes to unfavourable weight changes. Objectives This study aimed to do a systematic review and a meta-analysis of existing evidence regarding weight change during incarceration. Methods and results We conducted a systematic literature search by using five different online databases and included grey literature. A total of 16 studies, all conducted in developed countries, were identified. Weight change was computed in 11 of these studies and was self-reported in five studies. Only two studies included youth. In all but 1 of the 11 studies using actual assessment of weight change, there was an increase in body weight or body mass index on average or weight gain occurred among a significant proportion of participants. A meta-analysis of eight of these studies showed an average weight gain of 0.43 (95% CI 0.14, 0.72) lb/week. In all studies including perceived weight change, a high proportion (43% to 73%) of participants reported weight gain during incarceration. Conclusion Health promotion activities within prisons should incorporate initiatives aimed at combating unhealthy weight developments.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/obr.12622

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