SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL FACTORS PREDICTING THE PREVALENCE OF OBESITY AMONG SELECTED SENIOR SECONDARY STUDENTS IN ADO LOCAL GOVERNMENT, EKITI STATE, NIGERIA

SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL FACTORS PREDICTING THE PREVALENCE OF OBESITY AMONG SELECTED SENIOR SECONDARY STUDENTS IN ADO LOCAL GOVERNMENT, EKITI STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Adolescent obesity is slowly emerging as a serious public health problem. This is due to the strong relationship with adult obesity and its related health problems. It has been established that adolescent obesity is significantly associated with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and peer rejection. Despite the high level of information and knowledge of obesity among secondary school adolescents, there is still an increase in the prevalence of obesity among them. Studies have shown that there is a continuous rise in the prevalence of obesity in developed and developing countries. This informed the objective of this study which is to assess the socio-ecological factors predicting obesity among senior secondary school students.

This research was a cross sectional survey which was carried out among selected secondary schools in Ado Local Government in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. Random sampling was used to select 4 senior secondary schools where 387 students between the ages of 10-19 years were selected.  A self-structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Body Mass Index was measured with a weighing scale and stadiometer. The data collected were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 21 with levels of significance set at 0.05.

There were 205 (53%) female and 182 (47%) male participants between the ages 10 and 19 years. The results revealed that the prevalence of obesity among the respondents was 2.84% which simply means that out of every 10 students, 3 is obese. Findings also revealed that the average physical activities among respondents does not have any significant relationship with their low level of prevalence of obesity. It was found that there was no significant relationship between school environment and intrapersonal factors predicting obesity of respondents (Correlate = -0.58; P = 0.253) while a significant relationship was established between Intrapersonal factors and Interpersonal factors affecting obesity (Correlate = 0.249; R Square = 0.062; P < 0.05) and a significant relationship between Interpersonal factors and school environment factors affecting obesity (Correlate = 0.204; R Square = 0.042; P < 0.05).

This study revealed that sedentary behaviour, increased intake of junks and physical inactivity were predisposing factors to obesity. Indicating presence of these factors may subsequently lead to high incidence rate of obesity. Based on the findings, control of access to unhealthy food, assess to healthy food, health education on obesity and mandatory time for physical activities should be paid more attention.

Keywords: Adolescent, Obesity, Body Mass Index, Prevalence, Ado-Ekiti.