African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Childhood overweight and social correlates among school-going adolescents in Dominica and Jamaica

S Pengpid, K Peltzer


The purpose of this study was to investigate overweight and obesity and social correlates among school children in Dominica and Jamaica. The total sample included 3265 adolescents aged primarily 13 to 16 years from nationally representative samples from two Caribbean countries. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted to assess the relationship between behavioural variables, psychosocial factors and overweight or obesity. Body Mass Index (BMI) was based on self-reported height and weight. Results indicate a prevalence of overweight or obesity of 21.8%, 26.3% among girls and 21.6% among boys, respectively. In multivariate analysis, female gender and not feeling hungry were found to be associated with overweight or obesity. Overweight status was not found to be associated with the physical activity and dietary behaviour. High prevalence rates of overweight or obesity were found. Physical activity, dietary and social programmes could be used to prevent overweight and obesity among adolescents in this region.

Keywords: Overweight, obesity, global school-based health survey, dietary behaviour, substance use, physical activity, psychosocial factors, Dominica, Jamaica.

AJOL African Journals Online