An Examination of Socioeconomic Determinants of Average Body Mass Indices in Rwanda

Edward Mutandwa*
College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University, P.O Box 9681, Mississippi, MS 39762, USA

© 2015 Edward Mutandwa.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the College of Forest Resources, Mississippi State University, P.O Box 9681, Mississippi, MS 39762, USA; Tel: +16626170038; E-mail:


Obesity is increasingly becoming a common problem in Africa. Many studies have been pre-occupied with analyzing the causes of malnutrition whose effects are more pronounced. The main objective of this research was to determine the socio-economic factors that influence body mass indices in Rwanda. Inflation rate, body mass indices (bmi) for males and females (from 1960 to 2009) and food supply indices were obtained mainly from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOSTAT). A double log multiple regression model was used to assess the relationship between average bmi and several predictor variables. Further tests of autocorrelation, multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity and normality were carried out and subsequently corrected. Results showed that obesity is not a problem in Rwanda. However, bmi for men and women have been increasing. Food self sufficiency, fat supply and food aid had a positive and significant impact on average bmi (p<0.05) while GDP per capita and inflation rate were insignificant. These results indicate the positive impact of efforts of government of Rwanda through Vision 2020. However, food aid may be contributing to rapid bmi increases in the country.

Keywords: Gauss-Markov, multiple regressions, obesity, rwanda, ocio-economic, vision 2020.