Magnitude of Overweight, Obesity and Insufficient Physical Sports Activities Among Secondary School Students in Kinondoni Municipal, Dar es Salaam

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Florence Salvatory Kalabamu
George Msengi
Namala Mkopi


Introduction: There is an overwhelming increase of Non-Communicable Disease worldwide such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Overweight and obesity are highly associated with development of these diseases. Unhealthy lifestyle such as excessive sugar, alcohol intake and lack of adequate physical activities has been associated with development of obesity. However, these risk factors are not well elucidated among adolescents in Tanzania. We conducted this survey to determine obesity, overweight, self-reported physical activities, and preferred foods among secondary school students in Kinondoni Municipal in Dar es salaam, Tanzania.
Methods: A cross sectional descriptive survey was conducted among secondary school students at Kambangwa and Makumbusho secondary schools in Kinondoni municipal in Dar es Salaam city. A simple random sampling technique was used to select participating schools with systemic random selection procedure was used to select participants. A pre structured, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect demographic information from the participants. Anthropometric measurement for Body Mass Index (BMI) was done using standard tools. Interpretation of the findings was done using World Health Organization (WHO) standard charts for age and sex. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20; SPSS Inc., Chicago, US).
Results: A total of 234 participants were enrolled in the study. A total of 204 (87.2%) of study participants reported to regularly participate in physical sports activities. Furthermore, Males reported to participate more in physical sports activities compared to females ( X2 (1) =8.13., p = 0.004). During sex-wise comparison, 30 (46.2%) of males reported to participate in sports once per week compared to 71 (51.5%) of females. Reported frequency was influenced by participants’ sex ( X2 (3) =16.4., p= 0.001). A total of 28 (12%) participants reported fruits as their favourite food. Food preference was influenced by the participants’ sex (X 2 (5) =13.1., p < 0.02). 32(47.7%) of males reported fresh fruits juice as their favourite drink compared to 106(63.5%) of females) while 6(9%) of males reported to prefer commercial industrial juice compared to 4 (2.4%) of females
Conclusion: Obesity and overweight are prevalent among secondary school adolescents in Kinondoni Municipal, Dar es salaam. In addition, the magnitude of physical activities was below the recommended amount. Therefore, awareness campaigns and advocacy programs aiming at preventive measures against NCDs such as healthy eating behaviour and promotion of physical activities among adolescents should be given high priority.

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