Pattern and Correlates of Obesity among in-School Adolescents in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Sabageh, Adedayo Olukemi (2015-05-18)


This study described the pattern and correlates of obesity among in-school adolescents in Ile-Ife, Osun State. The study determined the prevalence of obesity among in-school adolescents in Ile-Ife and identified correlates of obesity in the study population. It further assessed respondents' knowledge of health and psychosocial consequences of obesity and prevalence of body image discrepancy (BID) among the respondents with a view to providing scientific information about in-school adolescent obesity. The study employed a cross-sectional descriptive design. Five hundred respondents, aged 10-19 years, were randomly selected through a multistage sampling technique from private and public schools. Quantitative data were collected with the aid of a pre-tested, semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements of respondents were also recorded. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Hip Ratio (WHR) of each respondent were calculated. Body image discrepancies (BID) of the respondents were assessed using the 7 silhouette figures provided in the questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive (tables and graphs) and inferential statistical methods (Chi-square test). Statistical significance was tested at the 5% level. The results showed that 89% of the respondents were knowledgeable about obesity. Employing BMI technique, the prevalence of obesity and overweight among the respondents was 4.2% and 5.2% respectively whereas, WHR technique identified 37.2% and 16.4% to be obese and overweight respectively. Using the WHR technique, 91 (48.9%) out of the 186 obese respondents belonged to the junior class in secondary school. The incidence of obesity was significantly higher (X2 = 7.4470, p<0.05) among the students in the senior classes than the junior classes. Obesity was also found to be significantly higher among the females (X2 = 423, p<0.05), respondents belonging to the upper socioeconomic class (X2=24.713, p<0.05) and those attending private schools (X2= 12.041, p<0.05). A majority (64%) of the respondents had BID and there was a significant association (X2 = 11.937, p<0.05) between BMI and BID. The main health and psychosocial consequences of obesity reported by the in-school adolescents included stroke (34.3%), hypertension (29.3%), diabetes mellitus (13.3%) and unattractive figure (21%). The study concluded that obesity is a common health problem among in-school adolescents in Ile-Ife and there is a high prevalence of BID among the respondents. Correlates of obesity among the study population included gender, socioeconomic class, and type of school attended.