An Unhealthy, Obesogenic Lifestyle: A Case Study of Urban Primary School Children in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 6, Issue 2, March 2018, Pages: 35-42
Received: Jan. 16, 2017; Accepted: Apr. 1, 2017; Published: Jan. 17, 2018
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Dube Adiele, Department of Emergency Medical Care, Emergency Medical Ambulances Services, Kwekwe, Zimbabwe
Gundani Patrick Morgan, Department of Sports Science and Coaching, Faculty of Applied Sciences, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Lunga Mande Carolyne, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
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Objectives: To determine the socio-demographic and anthropometric characteristics of 9-11 years old children in relation to their tuck-shop purchasing habits. Methods: A cross-sectional research design using a pre-designed questionnaire was administered to Grades 3, 4 & 5 children and two tuck shop managers from group A schools. Weight and height were measured through standardized techniques and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. BMI was interpreted in relation to tuck-shop purchasing habits. The distributions of blood pressure by anthropometric characteristics were examined. Mean, standard deviation, Pearson’s correlation coefficient and Chi square were used for statistical analysis using SPSS 20.0 software. Results: The sample comprised 53.01% females (n = 334) and 46.98% males (n = 296). The children’s mean age was 9.8 (± 0.44) years, with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 20.5 (± 4.6) kg/m2 for girls and 19.7 (± 4.9) kg/m2 for boys. Basing on BMI, 27% of the male subjects were predominantly overweight, whereas 28.4% of the female subjects were more prone to obesity. Out of the total population, 26.4% of the children reported that they frequently purchase from the tuckshop. There was a positive significant (p <0.013) association existed between the BMI and the frequency of purchasing from the tuckshop. Purchasing times continued to be unassociated to perceived health status despite that items purchased and age were inversely associated students’ food consumption (Item purchased: OR= 1.12, CI= 1.03 – 1.13, p = 0.001; Age OR= 1.06, CI= 1.02 – 1.12, p = 0.001) An average of USD$0.50 or ZAR5 is spent by children at the tuck-shop on a daily basis. Conclusion: Poor tuck-shop purchasing practices by primary school children contribute to the development of childhood overweight and obesity. Despite, schools covering nutrition in their educational curriculum, their tuck shops stocked poor nutritional quality items which were used to generate revenue/profit. Therefore, school management has a vital role in imposing restrictions over trading of unhealthy items to school children. Also, there is need to improve the nutrition educational curriculum in lower grade levels to ensure that they adopt healthier purchasing practices.
Overweight, Childhood Obesity, Body Mass Index, Group a Schools, Tuck-Shop Purchasing Practices
To cite this article
Dube Adiele, Gundani Patrick Morgan, Lunga Mande Carolyne, An Unhealthy, Obesogenic Lifestyle: A Case Study of Urban Primary School Children in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, Science Journal of Public Health. Vol. 6, No. 2, 2018, pp. 35-42. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.20180602.11
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