Prevalence and determinants of childhood obesity among school-age children in the Sunyani

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Background Childhood obesity is one of the persisting problems of our generation. There is a growing burden of overweight and obesity among children in Ghana. It poss several health problems to the individual later in life. In Ghana, the studies done on obesity focused on adult obesity with fewer on childhood obesity as compared to other countries where interventions are being implemented even at the school level. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity among school-age children in the Sunyani Municipality. Methods The study was a cross-sectional design involving school children between the ages of 6 and 18years. A total of 423 participants were enrolled in the study. Anthropometric measurement of children‘s height and weight. The age-specific and sex-specific distribution of the body mass index using specific international classification body mass index standards. Questionnaires were administered individually to a school child that met the inclusion criteria and self-administered questionnaire to key informants in the selected schools. Results The finding of the study revealed that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is 9.7% and 6.4% respectively. The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity 16.1%. The results indicated that children attending private schools are about three times more likely to be overweight (3.84; 95% CI: .1.94 - 7.6; p 0.001) and obese (4.43; 95% CI: .1.92 - 10.24; p 0.001) compared to children in public schools. (4.43; 95% CI: .1.92 - 10.24; p 0.001) It also revealed that females have 1.9 times at risk rate ofvi overweight but are 20% less likely to be obese than their male counterpart. Increase in age was associated with reduced risk of being overweight (, 0.4, 95% CI:0.17-0.946; p<0.037). Sex (p=0.004), age (p=0.014), mother‘s education (p= 0.011), number of times of eating breakfast in a week (p=0.032), consumption of snack per day(p=0.029), time spent playing digital games(p=0.021) and watching TV (p=0.01) were significantly associated with the overweight and obesity. Conclusion Childhood overweight and obesity is prevalent in the Sunyani Municipality predominantly among private school children (10.4%). Age sex maternal education, high socioeconomic status, times of eating breakfast in a week, time spent playing digital games and watching TV are direct predictors of childhood overweight and obesity. All schools had a policy relating to food but not all of those schools had a policy on physical education. A greater number of them constituting about two-thirds of them had
A thesis submitted to the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award Degree of Master of Science Public Health- Population, Family and Reproductive Health .September.
Prevalence, Determinants, Childhood Obesity, School-Age Children, Sunyani Municipality