Child obesity prevention: Nigerian children and adolescents have fair knowledge of obesity

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Introduction: Child and adolescent obesity has adverse implications, including adverse effects on education
attainment, economy, and health. It is necessary to constantly examine the changing shifts in the underlying
causes of child obesity, especially in countries where there are economic and political instabilities that influence
consumption patterns. Additionally, there are variations in the rates of obesity according to several character-
istics, including race and religion. Studies that evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practices of Nigerian
Christian children towards obesity are not available. Therefore, this study aims to contribute an empirical
knowledge in this area.
Method: A mixed approach was used to assess the KAP of children regarding overweight and obesity. A cross-
sectional survey by a 49-item questionnaire was used (n = 209) and includes food choice and preferences,
perception and knowledge about causes of obesity. SPSS 22 was used for descriptive statistics, clustering and
model of prediction of risk of obesity.
Result: About 83% of the sampled population self-report to be aware about ‘obesity’ and/or ‘overweight’ before
participating in the survey. Most children prefer fruits (62.2%) to chocolate (37.8%), water (83.7%) to soft drink
(16.3%), soft drink (61.25%) to orange juice (38.8%) and local foods (57.9%) to junk foods (42.1%). Scoring and
clustering the participants knowledge about the causes of obesity indicated an average knowledge. The older
children (15–19 years) do not significantly have higher knowledge than younger children (6–14 years) about
causes of obesity.
Conclusion: Findings from this study show that children and adolescent within the study have some knowledge
about the meaning, causes and prevention of obesity though it needs improvement in order to achieve child
obesity prevention. Findings from this study could have implications towards policies and programs targeted at
reducing child obesity, and engaging faith-based institutions in the prevention campaign
Original languageEnglish
Article number200117
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Nutrition & Metabolism
Early online date07 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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