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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 276-281

Co-existence of child and adolescent obesity and thinness in a city in Nigeria: Comparison of results derived from different reference standards


Department of Biochemistry, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, PMB 7267 Umudike, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Chukwunonso E. C. C. Ejike
Department of Biochemistry, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, PMB 7267 Umuahia, Abia State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.114856

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Objectives: The nutrition transition in developing countries has resulted in the "nutrition paradox" where both under- and over-nutrition exist in the same population. This phenomenon is scarcely reported in Nigeria. The prevalence of thinness and overweight/obesity was therefore studied in Umuahia, Nigeria using two international references and the results compared. Subjects and Methods: A total of 1911 children and adolescents (51.3% females) were recruited and anthropometric data obtained from them using the standard procedures. Age was determined from each subject's school records. Overweight, obesity, and thinness (stages 1-3) were defined using the Cole et al. International surveys (IS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) study references. Appropriate statistical analyses were carried out on data generated. Results: As much as 24.2% of the boys and 19.2% of the girls were thin, based on the WHO standards, whereas, 17.3% of the boys and 15.5% of the girls were thin based on the IS standard. A total of 4.9% of boys and 9.2% of girls (WHO); and 3.9% of boys and 5.8% of girls (IS) were overweight. Obesity was found in 1.1% and 1.8% of the boys and girls respectively (WHO); and 0.3% and 1.0% of the boys and girls respectively (IS). Irrespective of age, there were no significant differences ( P > 0.05) between the proportions of the population diagnosed with thinness, overweight or obesity by the two standards used. Conclusion: Under- and over-nutrition, typified by thinness and overweight/obesity respectively co-exist in the studied population. The IS and WHO reference methods give statistically similar estimates of the nutritional status in this population.


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