Body Mass Index of Healthy Nigerian Children

  • JO Anyiam
  • WN Ogala
  • CU Onuora


Background: To study the Body Mass Index of healthy Nigerian school children from different socio-economic backgrounds resident in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. Method: A cross-sectional prospective study of Body Mass Index was carried out on 3,802 healthy Nigerian school children aged 5 to 13 years resident in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. The subjects consist of 1,871 children from private schools (privileged) and 1,931 children from public schools (less privileged). The schools and pupils were selected by multi-staged cluster sampling method. Result: Over 75% of the \'privileged\' and the \'less privileged\' children are from upper and lower socioeconomic classes respectively. The mean Body Mass Index of the \'privileged\' boys was 15.1 + 0.7 compared with 14.7 + 1.2 for the \'less privileged\' boys. The corresponding mean Body Mass Index values for the \'privileged\' and the \'less privileged\' girls were 15.1 + 0.5 and 15.0 + 1.7 respectively. The difference in this index, between the boys as well as between the girls was statistically insignificant (p = 0.05 and 0.12 respectively). Conclusion: There was no statistical significant difference between the BMI of the \'privileged\' and the \'less privileged\' groups of children.

Keywords: Body mass index, Children, Socio - economic class, Nigeria

Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (4) 2008: pp. 407-413

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eISSN: 1115-2613