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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5358
Vol. 20, No. 5, 2020, pp. 16540-16562
Bioline Code: nd20088
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 20, No. 5, 2020, pp. 16540-16562

Anaemene, D & Ogunkunle, M


Globally, childhood overweight/obesity has persistently increased over decades and associated with non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. However, data on the trend of overweight/obesity among Nigerian children is limited because surveys have focused more on under-nutrition problems. This study aimed at determining the prevalence of overweight/obesity and dietary habits of children attending privately owned schools. A multi-stage random sampling was employed to select 478 pupils (8-11 years). Information on socio-demographic characteristics, dietary habit and physical activities were collected via interviewer administered questionnaire. Weight and height measurements were taken to determine overweight and obesity status using BMI-forage (5-19 years) growth chart. Dietary recall was used to determine daily energy/nutrient intake. The five selected schools were categorized into types 1-4 based on school fees. On analysis, prevalence rates of 14.7% (overweight), 4.7% (obesity) and 4.3% (thinness) were observed. The mean weight of pupils from school type 1(29.4 ± 5.4kg) was statistically different from the mean weights of schools, type 3 (34.0 ± 8.6) and type 4(36.2 ± 8.6kg) at p<0.001. Significant difference existed in the overweight status of the school children across school types (p=0.002) with school type 4 having the highest prevalence (29.4%). Children who attend the high fee-paying schools were 1.8 times more likely to become overweight/obesity than children who attend the moderate fee schools (OR 1.83; 95% CI (1.08-3.08), p=0.015). The average daily intake of energy of pupils of school type 4 (2074±310 kcal) and type 1(1807.96±373kcal) differed significantly (p=0.01). Dietary assessment revealed high consumption of fatty foods and inadequate intake of vegetable, fruits and milk. More children (40%) watched television/film followed by 27% who engaged in computer games during their leisure period. Among school children who attend private schools, greater proportions are overweight and obese. Higher prevalence of overweight and unhealthy eating habits were found among school children of type 4 (highest fee) compared to other types. Appropriate nutritional strategies targeting children from wealthy homes should be developed.

Overweight; dietary assessment; nutritional status; children; anthropometric assessment; private school

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