Knowledge of risk factors of obesity by young female adults (19 - 35 years) in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Nigeria
Background: The association between excess weight and cardio-metabolic disease is widely recognized by the medical profession as well as the general public
Objective: The study assessed the knowledge of risk factors of obesity among young females (reproductive age) in Owo Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State.
Materials and methods: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on dietary habits and knowledge of risk factors from 500 young female adults. Knowledge of risk factors (RFs) was assessed on a 10-point scale and scored as low (≤3), average (≥4≤6), and high (≥7≤10). Central obesity was assessed using data from the waist and hip circumferences measured with non-flexible tape rule) waisthip ratio was calculated. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. In all cases, a probability of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Finding shows that 43.6% of the respondents were within the age range of 19-23years, 59.8% were single, about 28.6% were able to eat 3times daily while 22.4% skipped meal with 13.0% skipping breakfast. Lack of physical exercise (85%) and stress (47.5%) were the most identified risk factors of obesity. About 53.4% of the subjects had low knowledge, 33.4% had average knowledge, while only 13.2% had high knowledge scores of obesity risk. There was a significant difference between the mean waist circumference, waist circumference and waist-hip-ratio between the urban and rural participants (P<0.05). More than half (53.2%) and 48.0% of the respondents had central obesity using waist-hip ratio and waist circumference, respectively.
Conclusion: The study revealed that more than half of respondents display a lack of knowledge on risk factors of obesity. Public health education should be geared towards educating women of reproductive age on the risk of obesity.
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