BMI-For-Age Cut-Off as an Indicator of Adiposity among In-School Children (Age 4-11 Years) in Obio/Akpor LGA, Rivers State, Nigeria

2018-01-04T14:04:48Z (GMT) by Aigbogun EO Jr Ibeachu PC Ikechukwu E
Background: Childhood overweight and obesity has been an issue of great concern to developing and developed nation where as degenerative underweight has ravaged the underdeveloped and war turn countries. Aim: This present study investigated the nutritional status of in-school children in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State using the WHO Body Mass Index-for-Age percentiles cut-offs. Design and Methods: This study was designed as a cross-sectional analytical research. A total of 310 in-school children comprising of 149 boys and 161 girls were multi-staged randomly selected from primary schools within Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers state, Nigeria. Anthropometric determination of weight and height of the selected children were carried out by standard methods. Stages of development (early childhood [4-7 years] and late childhood [8-11 years]) and sex-specific prevalence of adiposity were determined using WHO BMI-for-age percentile cut-offs. SPSS version 23 (IBM® Armonk, New York) was used to analyse the data. Results: The Prevalence of overweight was found to be 29%; with 44% in children age 4-7years and 15% for children age 8-11years. Chi-square (X2 ) analysis showed that more girls (33.7%) than boys (29.1%) were significantly overweight (F=2.138, P=0.032); however nutritional status was not associated with sex (χ2 =3.12, P>0.05) but with developmental stage when stratified with sex (χ2 =52.306, P<0.01). Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight was high; but higher in females than males, observed at early childhood. Greater adiposity at early childhood with gradual reduction through late childhood may be associated with high calorie-based dieting, reduced exercise and sedentary life among younger children.