2018, VOL. 4 ISSUE 3, PART F
Obesity is one of the non-communicable diseases of public health concern worldwide with negative impact on growth and development of school age children.
Objectives: This study investigated the prevalence of overweight and obesity among school age (6-12 years) children in Port Harcourt.
Methodology: The study was cross-sectional survey involving 200 randomly selected children form randomly selected primary school in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Data was collected using structured questionnaire which included information on socio-economic status of the students, feeding habits, types of illness frequently affected to them, food consumption pattern and body mass index. The data collected were analyzed with descriptive statistics using SPSS version 17.
Result: About 55.0% were female while 45.0% were male. More than half (51.5%) of the children were in primary 1 to 3 while (48.5%) were primary 5-6. Most of them (99.0%) ate snacks and 90.0% took soft drinks. Most of the children (63.5%) visited fast food restaurants and (81.5%) reported not have suffered from any illness. On the other hand, most of them (89.5%) reported none physical activity. The children consumed more of the starchy and tubers (60.0%), than fruits and vegetables (27.5%). On the body mass index, (15.0%) of them were under-weight while (22.59%) of the respondents were overweight and (7.5%) were obese.
Conclusion: The study revealed a relatively high prevalence of overweight and obesity among the school age children in Port Harcourt. There is a need for the public health policy in Rivers state for early intention in order to prevent unhealthy generation. There is also a need to investigate similar studies in rural areas.