Over-nutrition among primary school pupils in a semi-urban Local Government Area, South-western Nigeria
Background: Studies from the developing countries suggest that childhood obesity is more prevalent in the urban settings. The search for childhood overweight/obesity (over-nutrition) needs to go beyond the urban into the semi-urban and rural areas.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of over-nutrition and the associated factor among primary school pupils in Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional analytic study of pupils of 15 schools (10 public and 5 private) using the multistage random sampling and the proportionate sampling techniques. Data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaire, data on physical activity, household possessions, dietary practices and relevant physical findings were obtained.
Results: A total of 422 pupils were studied; the age ranged between 18 and 192 months with a mean of 107.2 ± 36.4 months. The prevalence of Overweight/Obesity (Over-nutrition) was 6.4% with male predominance: 8.1% vs 4.4% without statistical significance (p = 0.19). Over-nutrition was significantly more prevalent among pupils aged <5 years and in the pupils of private schools (p = 0.000 and p = 0.007 respectively) and significantly related to the Dietary Diversity Score (p = 0.0001). Over-nutrition was more frequent among children whose parents had university education and were middle level civil servants without statistical significance. (p = 0.66, 0.19 respectively). Group physical activity was low in 96.3% and Food Frequency Score was poor in 87.5% of the overweight/obese pupils. Female gender, long duration of breastfeeding and delay in weaning significantly correlated with childhood over-nutrition.
Conclusions: Over-nutrition is not uncommon in the semi-urban Nigerian setting. The early life feeding practices, quality of the child’s diet and physical activities appear to be important contributors to childhood over-nutrition in this setting.
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