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ASSESSING MOTHERS' KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE ON CHILDHOOD OBESITY ON CAUSES AND PREVENTION

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ASSESSING MOTHERS' KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE ON CHILDHOOD OBESITY ON CAUSES AND PREVENTION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The global community is increasingly addressing the paediatric obesity epidemic due to its profound effects on both physical and psychosocial well-being (Wessel & Macintyre 2020). The World Health Organisation (WHO; 2021) reports that childhood obesity, previously regarded as a health concern confined to high-income nations, is now exhibiting a progressive increase in low and middle-income countries, particularly in urban regions. According to the World Health Organisation, the prevalence of obesity and overweight among children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 years has increased from 4% in 1975 to over 18% in 2016, irrespective of gender. The underlying cause of childhood obesity and overweight can be attributed to an energy imbalance between expenditure and intake of calories. This imbalance is influenced by dietary and physical activity patterns of children, as well as environmental and societal changes (Schokker et al., 2018). 

Children are inundated with numerous stimuli that facilitate excessive eating and hinder physical activity. Frequently, foods that are elevated in fat and sugar content are presented in sizable portions. These variables may cause children to consume an excessive number of calories prior to experiencing satiety. Ads on television and other screens may influence individuals to select harmful foods. Foods featured in advertisements targeted at children are typically rich in fat, sugar, or salt.The Preventive Services Task Force of the United States (2020). 

Adverse environmental conditions in children may also contribute to their development of obesity. The influence of family, peers, and the school environment on a child's dietary and physical activity preferences is significant. A infant may be consoled or rewarded with food. The result of developing these behaviours is overeating. Many individuals find it difficult to abandon these behaviours as they age.According to Gahagan (2021), Additionally, emotional disorders, genetics, and medical conditions can all elevate a child's susceptibility to obesity. Certain pharmaceutical agents, including anti-convulsants and hormone disorders, as well as hypothyroidism or thyroid dysfunction, may stimulate an infant's appetite. This increases their susceptibility to obesity over time. There is a higher likelihood that an adult will also be overweight or obese if the child is in this category. Children who are obese are currently developing health issues that were previously observed only in adults. When these issues originate during childhood, they frequently worsen as the child matures into an adult.(HM Seagle et al., 2019). 

The body weight management of children is significantly influenced by the health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of their parents (Birch & Davidson, 2021; Mabiala Babela et al., 2018; Rausch et al., 2020; Straughan & Xu, 2022). Due to the notorious treatment resistance of obesity (Spear et al., 2019), it is advised that obesity prevention efforts commence during childhood (Baidal & Taveras, 2022). Furthermore, it is imperative to give more emphasis to parents, given that they frequently serve as the primary carers for small children. Parents, in their capacity as carers, establish a contextual milieu that exerts an impact on the dietary and physical activity patterns of their children (Birch & Davidson, 2021; Faith et al., 2021). The nutritional patterns of children are notably influenced by the dietary practices and nutrition knowledge of their parents (Benton, 2018; Lim et al., 2020; Patrick & Nicklas, 2019; Savage et al., 2022). 

A number of co-morbidities that result from childhood obesity can cause both immediate and prolonged complications. Paediatric obesity is associated with a range of adverse health effects, including obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, musculoskeletal complications, insulin resistance, hypertension, and psychological disorders (Newbold 2019). A number of these complications associated with childhood obesity persist into maturity, resulting in an increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mortality during middle age. Given that parental control extends to the child's dietary patterns, physical activity, food accessibility and availability, and food-related processes, it is unsurprising that their impact constitutes a significant risk factor for weight gain and obesity in children. It is critical to address the contextual environment created by parents, as they hold the key, and reversing adolescent obesity through individual interventions alone is not a straightforward task (Schokker et al., 2018). With parental involvement, primary prevention could significantly reduce the prevalence of obesity and overweight if initiated in early childhood (Sobngwi et al., 2022).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Obesity is an increasingly prevalent health concern across all socioeconomic strata in Africa (Adienbo, Hart, and Oyeyemi, 2022). Obesity in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) can be attributed not only to inadequate nutrition but also potentially to the excessive ingestion of an unbalanced diet that is high in saturated fats and carbohydrates (Yusuf, Reddy, Ounpuu, and Anand, 2021). Inadequate dietary habits, insufficient physical activity linked to urbanisation, and additional contributing factors have collectively contributed to the elevated prevalence of metabolic syndrome and other non-communicable ailments in the subcontinent (Adeboye, Bermano, and Rolland, 2022). 

Although numerous studies have attempted to estimate the prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight, only a limited number of research studies have examined the knowledge and behaviour of mothers in relation to childhood obesity. This research illuminates the possible risk factors associated with childhood obesity and offers valuable insights for mitigating the spread of this burgeoning epidemic among children. The dissemination of health education to mothers is crucial in the prevention of obesity in children (Lim et al., 2020). The primary objective of this research endeavour was to evaluate the knowledge and behaviour of mothers in relation to juvenile obesity. The obtained data may prove valuable in the development of initiatives aimed at preventing adolescent obesity.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The main objective of the study is to assess mothers' knowledge and practice on childhood obesity on causes and prevention using Owerri Muncipal Area, Imo State as a case study. but for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;

Assess mothers knowledge on the prevalence of childhood obesity in Owerri Muncipal Area, Imo State.

Assess mothers knowledge on the causes and practices associated with childhood obesity in Owerri Muncipal Area, Imo State.

Assess mothers knowledge on the preventive methods of childhood obesity in Owerri Muncipal Area, Imo State.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What is the prevalence of childhood obesity in Owerri Muncipal Area, Imo State?

What are the causes and practices associated with  childhood obesity in Owerri Muncipal Area, Imo State?

What are the preventive methods of childhood obesity in Owerri Muncipal Area, Imo State?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: Mothers do not have adequate knowledge and practice on the causes and prevention of childhood obesity

Ha: Mothers do not have adequate knowledge and practice on the causes and prevention of childhood obesity.

1.6  Significant of the Study

This study will relevant to the parents. It will enlighten parents the need to foster a collaborative approach to promoting healthy living among children. This initiative will create a supportive atmosphere that will reinforces the importance of nutrition and physical activity in the broader context of children well-being.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to assessing the knowledge and practice of mothers on the causes and prevention of childhood obesity.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on assessing mothers' knowledge and practice on childhood obesity on causes and prevention. Hence, the study will be delimited to Owerri Muncipal Area, Imo State.

1.8 Limitations Of The Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.

1.9 Definition Of Terms

Obesity refers to much higher body fat percentages than that considered normal for age and sex. It can also be termed as the condition of having excess of non-essential body fat, Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30.

Children: a young human being below the age of 5- 10 years.

Health: a state of overall physical, mental, and social well-being in which an individual is free from illness, injury, or disease and possesses the capacity to lead a fulfilling and productive life. It encompasses various dimensions of wellness, including physical fitness, mental and emotional stability, and social harmony.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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