Prevalence and comorbidities of childhood overweight and obesity among school aged children in an urban settlement in Benin City, Nigeria
Background: The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity is rising worldwide and its impact spanning through adolescence to adulthood.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity and the occurrence of high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose among school aged children in an urban settlement in Benin City, Nigeria.
Design: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was utilized.
Subjects and setting: A total of 195 school aged children residing in households in the selected ward were recruited for the study carried out between 2014 and 2015.
Outcome measures: Anthropometric measurements were recorded and used to determine the body mass indices (BMI) of the children. Also blood pressure measurements and random blood sugars of the respondents were determined to ascertain the blood pressure and glycaemic status of the children.
Results: The proportion of overweight respondents was 7.7% and 3.1% for obesity giving a combined proportion of 10.8% while that for underweight was 11.8% amongst the study respondents. The females, 18 (16.6%) had a significantly higher proportion of overweight and obesity than the males, 3 (3.5%) [p = 0.003]. The prevalence of hypertension was 6 (3.1%) and elevated blood glucose was 4 (2.1%).
Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight was 7.7% while that for obesity was 3.1%. Also, the prevalence of hypertension and elevated blood glucose was 3.1% and 2.1% respectively amongst the school aged children and females had a significantly higher proportion of overweight and obesity than males in the study. There is a need for public enlightenment towards promoting healthier lifestyle choices and screening of disease conditions early in childhood.
Keywords: Prevalence, Comorbidities, Overweight and obesity, School aged children, Nutritional status