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Socio-economic status, lifestyle and childhood obesity in Gombe.

YS Alkali
JP Ambe
M Sabin
M Zacharin


Background: Childhood obesity is a complex condition resulting from an interplay of genetic predisposition, environmental factors and socio-economic status. The prevalence has been increasing all over the world, probably due to economic transition and rapid urbanization as well as globalisation. This relationship should be well established for Improved Health Planning in Gombe State and Nigeria.
Objectives: To establish the prevalence of Childhood Obesity and it`s relationship with the Socio-Economic Status of Parents and guardians.
Methodology: Anthropometric measurements of children and adolescents in both public and private schools from primary to secondary levels were taken and their BMI calculated. The socioeconomic statuses of their parents, as well as the lifestyle of the children were assessed.
Results: Overweight and obesity were more prevalent in children whose parents belonged to the middle and upper socio-economic class; these children had televisions and computers in their rooms and were driven to school
Conclusion: The picture is completely the reverse of what is obtainable in the developed and industrialised nations where overweight and obesity are more prevalent in children of the lower socio-economic class. Authors` contribution: The first author is the lead researcher and is a staff of Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe while the second author, a staff of University of Maiduguri is the first supervisor who gave guidelines and made corrections. The second and the third authors are members of staff of the University of Melbourne in Australia; the third author provided a template on which the questionaire was based while the fourth author who is also the second supervisor, is a tutor of the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology; she facilitated the acceptance of the proposal and the sponsorship for the research. The research was carried out in Gombe, the capital of Gombe State in North Eastern Nigeria

Keywords: Socio-Economic, Childhood, Obesity, Nigeria

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eISSN: 0302-4660