Nutrient Intake, Physical Activity and Nutritional Status Among Second Cycle Students in Tamale, Ghana
The issues of nutrition and dietary habits are timely because nutrition plays an important role among the external factors that may impact the health of an individual. The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of nutrient intake and physical activity on nutritional status of second cycle students within the Tamale Metropolis, Ghana. This descriptive cross sectional study was conducted from February, 2015 to April, 2015 where a total of 200 students, comprising both male (49.5%) and female (50.5%) students were conveniently selected from two schools; a day school (44%) and a boarding school (56%). A questionnaire containing closed ended and open ended questions were developed to cover socio-demographic characteristics, anthropometric measures, physical activity and nutrients intake. The mean age of the participants was 17.78±1.7 years. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in this study were 6% (BMI), 28% (WHR) and 1% (BMI), 10% (WHR) respectively. The prevalence of underweight and high physical activity was higher in males (p=0.0017 and p=0.0027 respectively) whiles the prevalence of overweight, obesity and low physical activity were higher in females (p=<0.0001, p=0.0023 and p=<0.0001 respectively). The mean total daily energy intake of the study population was 4177±7569 Kcal/day. Males significantly consumed more calories (p=0.0189), carbohydrates (p=0.0401), proteins (p=0.0282) and iron (p=0.035) than females. Prevalence of overweight and high physical activity were higher in day students (p=<0.0001 and p=0.0014 respectively) whiles prevalence of overweight and low physical activity were found in boarding students (p=0.0257 and p=<0.0001). This study brings to bare the increasing prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity in adolescents, hence the dual burden of under nutrition and over nutrition. It brings to light the higher prevalence of overweight and obesity among female adolescents as a consequence of reduced physical activity. The study also reveals the nutritional deficiencies coupled with reduced physical activity in boarding school students as well as the unhealthy eating habits of day school students.
Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences (2017) 6(2), 25- 37