By Lydia Gichuki
Research conducted in Kakamega County last year by researchers from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) indicates that Children who attend private schools are more likely to be obese and to have weight-related issues than their counterparts in public school.
The study cites that reasons for this is because private scholar use school bus transport and have fewer Physical Exercise (PE) lessons.
Lack of enough Physical Exercise (PE) lessons is attributed to private schools putting more weight on core curricular activities for better performance in national exams, instead of PE.
In addition most private schools also lack playing grounds.
In contrast pupils from public schools are less obese from walking to and from school.
In addition, at home learners from private schools spent their time watching more TV besides playing video games compared to their public school counterparts.
Also it was established that private schoolers ate more meals per day and the meals featured more carbohydrates and high in fats including chips, sausages, burgers and pizzas.
The researchers noted that pupils from private schools had access to more meals both at home and in school.
Research was conducted by Micky Olutende, Dr Issah Kweyu and Prof Edwin Wamukoya from the department of Health Promotion and Sports Science and Dr Maximilla Wanzala from the department of Public Health.
The researchers said that obesity among pupils in Kakamega was also on the rise and this predisposes them to chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, hypertension and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The results were made public during the 15th International Multi-disciplinary Virtual Conference held last week at Mmust. The findings were published in the Journal of Advances in Sports and Physical Education.