Dietary intake, Physical Activity and Nutrition Status of Adolescents Attending Urban Primary Schools In Kinondoni District, Dar Es Salaam Tanzania
Niyeha, Debora Gervas
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The World Health Organization defined early adolescence as a rapid period in human growth and development occurring between 10-14 years. Globally, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents is estimated at 10% similar to what is reported in Tanzania. Findings from studies have proved poor eating habits and physical inactivity to be among the reasons contributing to overweight while lack of access to nutritious foods and diseases were found to contribute to undernutrition among this age group. The aim of this study was to determine dietary intake, physical activity and nutrition status of adolescents attending urban public schools in Kinondoni District. The study adopted a cross-sectional analytical design and employed the stratified random sampling to select four public schools from two divisions of Kinondoni Districts. Simple random sampling was then applied to select 368 adolescents included in the study. Food Frequency Questionnaire, 24-hour dietary recall and Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C) tools were used to collect information from study participants. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientist software version 21 and dietary data was analyzed using nutri-survey 2007. Dietary diversity score (DDS) was calculated based on ten food groups using 24 hours food recall information as per FAO guideline and categorized as low, moderate, and high dietary diversity. Weight and height measurements were analyzed by WHO Anthro Plus software to determine BMI for Age of adolescents. Physical activity levels were determined by PAQ-C (Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children). Relationships between dietary intake, physical activity and nutrition status were analyzed using chi square test, and Pearson's moment correlation. A p-value of <0.05 was regarded as significant. Food consumption pattern showed intakes of starch staples including Ugali and rice was high compared to protein sources and fruits. The dietary diversity score results revealed that 48% of participants had moderate dietary diversity scores (DDS) and a quarter of study participants (26%) attained the recommended DDS. Differences on DDS was noted among sex where girls attained statistical significance higher DSS compared to boys. On the physical exercise, 43% of study participant had moderate physical activity levels and further analysis of results by age group revealed that younger adolescents 10 years participated more in rigorous physical activities compared to the rest of the group. Majority of adolescents 83% had normal nutrition status while 8% were overweight and obese and 9% were underweight. Pearson’s correlation analysis indicated a statistically significant relationship between dietary intake and nutrition status (r=0.114, p<0.029), and socio-economic status of adolescent’s parents (r=0.139, p<0.008), and a negative relationship between physical activity and nutrition status (r=-0.689, p=0.001). The study concluded that there is coexistence of thinness and overweight and at the same time and the levels of physical activity were moderate among adolescents attending urban primary schools in Kinondoni district. Based on the findings, efforts should be directed to ensure adolescents are active by promoting behavior change targeting increasing levels of physical activity to help minimize further development of overweight cases while promoting consumption of nutritious foods and snacks while adolescents are in schools to tackle both overweight and thinness.