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Overweight and Obesity Among School-aged Children and Maternal Preventive Practices against Childhood Obesity in Select Local Government Areas of Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria.

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Background:

Childhood obesity is an emerging epidemic in the developing countries, particularly in the urban settings. This study examines the prevalence of overweight and obesity among school-aged children and the maternal preventive practices against childhood obesity.

Methods:

This is a cross-sectional study of school-aged children aged 6-13 years and mothers from two Local Government Areas of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to select study areas and participants, while data were collected using an interviewer administered questionnaire. The Body Mass Index (BMI) of children were determined using the World Health Organisation (WHO) 2007 reference charts. Chi-square test was used to analyze categorical variables and logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the factors associated with the nutritional status and maternal childhood obesity preventive practices. All analyses were conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 21.

Results:

In all, 440 children comprising of 232 boys (52.7%) and 208 girls (42.3%) were studied. Of these, 29 of the participants (6.6%) were overweight, while 39 of them (8.9%) were obese. Most of the children (71.2%) consumed root/tubers and processed cereals while 9 (0.02%) and (17) 0.04% consumed fruits and vegetables. BMI was only significantly related to child age and sex. In all, 243 mothers (55.2%) had good practices against childhood obesity. Levels of maternal preventive practices were not significantly associated with child BMI.

Conclusions and Global Health Implications:

Overweight/obesity among school-aged children in Lagos is high. Only half of the mothers were involved in preventive practices against childhood obesity. There is need for continuous education and advocacy concerning healthy diet and other preventive strategies against childhood obesity in Lagos, and potentially other parts of the developing world.

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