Risk Factors Associated with Childhood Overweight and Obesity among Urban School Children Aged between 8-13 years in Kampala
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Background: Childhood overweight and obesity have become an issue of concern in both developing and developed countries. Developing countries such as Uganda are faced with a double burden of under nutrition and over nutrition. The issues of overweight and obesity are currently increasing in urban centres compared to rural areas. This study was conducted to find out the risk factors associated with childhood overweight and obesity among urban school children aged between 8 – 13 years in Kampala. Methods: The current study employed a cross-sectional study design. It involved a sample of 100 participants from randomly selected urban primary schools. Anthropometric measurements of age, weight, the height of the selected children were measured according to a standard protocol. The nutrition status of the children was determined by Body-Mass-Index-for-Age Z-scores according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) cut-offs points, using WHO AnthroPlus Software. The data was analysed using SPSS V.16 software. The chi-square tests were used to determine the relationship between variables and a statistical significance was set at 95% confidence interval, with a p-value =< 0.05. Results: The overall prevalence of overweight/obesity was 28%, more girls (20%) were found to be overweight compared to boys (8%). The private school had a higher prevalence (19%) of overweight/obesity compared to (9%) in the government school. The risk factors significantly associated with overweight/obesity were gender (p= 0.027), attending a private school (p=0.005), and leisure time activities (p= 0.05). Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among urban school children in Kampala is high, with girls being at a higher risk compared to the boys.