Article Text


Protocol for a scoping review of existing policies on the prevention and control of obesity across countries in Africa
  1. Theodosia Adom1,2,
  2. Thandi Puoane2,
  3. Anniza De Villiers3,
  4. André Pascal Kengne3,4
  1. 1Nutrition Research Centre, Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Ghana
  2. 2Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
  3. 3Non-communicable Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
  4. 4University of Cape Town, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Theodosia Adom; theo.adom{at}


Introduction The obesity epidemic is a public health challenge for all, including low-income countries. The behavioural patterns known to contribute to the rise in obesity prevalence occur in an environmental context which is not conducive for healthy choices. A policy approach to obesity prevention constitutes a form of public intervention in that it extends beyond individuals to influence entire populations and is a mechanism for creating healthier environments. Little is known about obesity prevention policies in Africa. This scoping review seeks to examine the nature, extent and range of policies covering obesity prevention in Africa in order to assess how they align with international efforts in creating less obesogenic environments. This will help identify gaps in the approaches that are adopted in Africa.

Methods and analysis Using the Arksey and O'Malley's scoping methodological framework as a guide, a comprehensive search of MEDLINE (PubMed), MEDLINE (EbscoHost) CINAHL (EbscoHost), Academic Search Complete (EbscoHost) and ISI Web of Science (Science Citation Index) databases will be carried out for peer reviewed journal articles related to obesity prevention policies using the African search filter. A grey literature search for policy documents and reports will also be conducted. There will be no language and date restrictions. Eligible policy documents and reports will be obtained and screened using the inclusion criteria. Data will be extracted and results analysed using descriptive numerical summary analysis and qualitative thematic analysis.

Ethics and dissemination No primary data will be collected since all data that will be presented in this review are based on published articles and publicly available documents, and therefore ethics committee approval is not a requirement. The findings of this systematic review will be presented at workshops and conferences; and will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journal. This will also form a chapter of a PhD thesis.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors APK and TA conceived the review approach. APK provided general guidance to the drafting of the protocol. TA drafted the manuscript. APK, TA, ADV and TP reviewed and revised the manuscripts. All authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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