Food Consumption Patterns, Physical Activity and Overweight and Obesity among Secondary School Students in Kwara State, Nigeria
Jimoh, Lateef Owolabi
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Adolescent overweight and obesity have been observed as one of serious public health challenges of the 21st century by the World Health Organization (WHO). Over the past few decades adolescent food consumption has undergone a great deal of transition from the starchy carbohydrates from roots and tubers to the highly refined cereals and sugary beverages. The highly refined cereals consumption contributes in no small measure to body adiposity. Physical inactivity further aggravates the calorie-imbalances that will later develop into overweight and obesity. This study determined the food consumption pattern and physical activity and overweight and obesity among the secondary school students in Kwara state, Nigeria. Cross-sectional analytical design was used in this study. A total of 515 adolescent students were randomly selected using multistage and stratified sampling techniques from 8 public secondary schools in two zonal inspectorate divisions. The instruments of data collection used were a modified food frequency questionnaire and Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A). Digital bathroom scale and stadiometer were used to measure the weight and height of the students respectively and observation checklist was used to assess the functionality of school facilities. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS, Version 20) and WHO anthroplus package. Food consumption pattern of participants indicated that 77% consumed breakfast and 4.5% added more than 5 teaspoonful of sugar to their beverages daily. The participants mostly consumed refined carbohydrates was doughnut and biscuits (2.36±0.99) times per week, while mostly consumed fat and oil was vegetable oil in soup (2.54±0.96) times per week. Furthermore, the fatty protein mostly consumed was fish pies and fish rolls (2.71±0.87) times per week and mostly consumed fruit was pawpaw (2.56±0.89) times per week. Participants’ hours of sleep indicated that 50.3% had 7-8 hours of sleep daily. Physical activity level indicated that 48.7% were moderately active and 39.4% were highly active per week. Observation checklist results indicated that all the schools had functional sporting facilities (100%). Body mass index (BMI) for age of participants showed that 29.1% were underweight, 4.7% were overweight while less than 1% were obese. The Pearson correlation between BMI for age and food consumption pattern (FCP) was (r=0.012, p =0.785), BMI for age and physical activity level (r=-0.105, p= 0.017). ANOVA of BMI for age and food consumption pattern showed significance (p= 0.001). There was no significant difference between BMI for age and the metabolic equivalent scores (METs) of the participants (p=0.725). Despite the relatively low prevalence of overweight and obesity observed, of concern was high underweight and low BMI for age in this study. Result findings indicated low frequency of food consumption and moderate physical activity levels. The parents and guardians should improve on the frequency of consumption of nutritious food for the adolescent students in public secondary schools and their physical activity level should be sustained.