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AN ASSESSMENT OF MEASURES EMPLOYED IN REDUCING OBESITY AMONG CHILDREN OF SCHOOL AGE (5-10YEARS)

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AN ASSESSMENT OF MEASURES EMPLOYED IN REDUCING OBESITY AMONG CHILDREN OF SCHOOL AGE (5-10YEARS)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

One of the biggest threats to public health in the twenty-first century is childhood obesity, which is spreading around the world and is especially problematic in urban areas. Childhood obesity has emerged as a significant public health concern globally, with profound implications for the well-being of children and their future health outcomes. According to Moore (2017), the rising rate of childhood obesity in some developing countries is as high as that of developed countries and children in low and middle-income countries are exposed to high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energydense, and micronutrient-poor foods, which tend to be lower in cost but also, lower in nutrient quality. However, these dietary patterns, in conjunction with lower levels of physical activity, result in sharp increase of obesity in children. The early years of a child's life are crucial for the development of lifelong habits and behaviors, making it imperative to address and prevent obesity during this critical period. The school environment plays a pivotal role in shaping children's lifestyles, offering a unique opportunity to implement targeted interventions. Additionally, the prevalence of obesity among school-age children, particularly those aged 5 to 10 years, has risen alarmingly in recent years, posing challenges to healthcare systems and communities alike. The consequences of childhood obesity extend beyond physical health, impacting psychological well-being, academic performance, and increasing the risk of chronic diseases in adulthood. Similarly, within the United Kingdom, estimates of obesity range from 6% in preschool children 2 to 17% by age 15 (Rudolf, 2007). Due to, obesity may track into adulthood and adult obesity is difficult to treat, prevention strategies are best targeted at children. However, most obesity interventions have taken place in clinical settings. In the same manner, schools also provide an opportunity for preventing and treating obesity.

Additionally, most school based approaches have targeted obese children, with most success in primary school aged 5- 10 years children. However, an  alternative strategy is to implement a primary intervention health promotion programme aimed at all children (Robinson, 2013). Also, these initiatives have had some success in the United States, although more specific interventions targeted at the different factors influencing children’s eating and physical activity behaviours (classroom education, food service, parents) may be needed. Despite major resources being deployed towards encouraging health promotion in schools, no rigorously designed intervention studies of programmes targeting obesity have taken place. Health promotion programmes are unlikely to be successful if the programme is of poor quality or has not been efficiently implemented. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess the measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age (5-10years).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Physical inactivity, often exacerbated by sedentary behaviors, is another contributing factor to childhood obesity. With this in mind, schools have increasingly focused on enhancing physical education programs, encouraging regular physical activity, and creating opportunities for active play. These efforts aim to instill a love for movement and exercise, establishing a foundation for a physically active lifestyle.

Community-wide initiatives have become integral in addressing childhood obesity, recognizing that the school environment extends beyond the classroom. Community engagement and awareness campaigns involve parents, teachers, and local leaders, fostering a collaborative approach to promoting healthy living. These initiatives aim to create a supportive atmosphere that reinforces the importance of nutrition and physical activity in the broader context of community well-being. It is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess the measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age (5-10years).

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age (5-10years). Specifically, the study will;

1. Determine the causes of obesity among children of school age

2. Assess the level of awareness and knowledge of parents regarding obesity among children

3. Investigate the strategies and measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

1. What are the causes of obesity among children of school age?

2. What is the level of awareness and knowledge of parents regarding obesity among children?

3. What are the strategies and measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age?

1.5  Significant of the Study

An assessment of the measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age (5-10years) will be revealed to the government at various levels, healthcare practitioners, teachers, school management, media houses and  parents in this study. It will additionally enlighten school management and parents in fostering a collaborative approach to promoting healthy living. These initiatives aim to create a supportive atmosphere that reinforces the importance of nutrition and physical activity in the broader context of community 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 an assessment of the measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age (5-10years).

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on an assessment of the measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age (5-10years). Theoretically, this study will determine the causes of obesity among children of school age, assess the level of awareness and knowledge of parents regarding obesity among children and investigate the strategies and measures employed in reducing obesity among children of school age.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to parents of children in  Lagos State.

1.7 Limitation 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. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Obesity: also known as overweight, abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.

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(Adamu, 2020)


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



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