A study conducted in 2021 and published last week in the Journal of Advances in Sports and Physical Education has revealed that three in every ten school-going children in Kakamega county are overweight.
The study involved a sample size of four hundred children in twenty-four schools, both public and private. According to the findings of the study which was done by the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, the effect fell more on the girls than boys.
The renowned university conducted the study last year to investigate the prevalence of obesity in school-going children in Kakamega. The study also inspected the contributing factors to obesity in school-going children in the area.
One of the researchers and leading corresponding authors cautioned The Nation that overweight children hold a greater risk of getting chronic illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, High Blood Pressure (HBP), and breathing problems.
The findings revealed that there was a higher rate of Type 2 Diabetes among overweight or obese children than in other chronic illnesses. The findings also showed significance in the relationship between the type of school, type of meals, mode of transport, the composition of leisure activities, and obesity.
From the sample size of four hundred schoolchildren, the study findings recorded the highest record of children under 10 as 90kgs while the lowest under 10 weighed 18kgs. The mean weight of the sample size was 32kgs.
43 percent of the total population weighed between 30kgs and 39kgs with 39 percent weighing between 50kgs and 59kgs. However, about 0.5 percent weighed at least 60kgs whereas about 0.3 percent of the total population weighed between 70kgs and 90kgs.
Most of the overweight school-going children who coincidentally mostly went to private schools consumed foods with greater caloric content. For instance, 51 percent consumed foods rich in calories like chocolates, fries, and baked foods, which had a great link to obesity. Most normal or underweight school-going children skipped meals or snacks during break time.
The children hardly consumed any tuber foods like arrowroots, cassavas, or yams. The consumption of such tuber foods comprised only 10 percent.
The study also showed a great linkage between the choice of snacks carried to what their parents allow or disallow. The findings showed about 70 percent of school-going children in private schools choose the type of snacks to carry to school. Only 28 percent of school-going children in public schools fell under the same category. Such showed ignorance on the part of most parents on their children’s health and their effect on the children’s general health.
For further information, check out the original article by Nation Africa.