Prevalence of overweight, obesity and thinness among adolescents in rural and urban areas of Enugu State, Nigeria

  • Authors

    • Peace Nwanneka Ani University of Nigeria, Nsukka Enugu State Nigeria
    • Peter Orji Uvere University of Nigeria, Nsukka Enugu State Nigeria
    • Henrietta Nkechi Ene-Obong University of Calabar Cross River State Nigeria
  • Background: Overweight and obesity in adolescence are powerful risk factors of chronic diseases in adulthood.

    Objective: To determine the prevalence of overweight, obesity and thinness among adolescents in rural and urban areas of Enugu State, Nigeria.

    Method: A total of 500 adolescents (10-19 years) consisting of 220 males and 280 females were randomly selected from 12 study schools in the State. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on background information of the adolescents. Anthropometric measurements (weight and height) of the adolescents were obtained, and used to calculate the Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI were categorized into obesity, overweight, normal and thinness using the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) reference and the WHO adult BMI classification for adolescents up to 19 years. The data obtained were coded and analyzed into means, frequencies, percentages and chi-square using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 17.

    Results: The prevalence of overweight, obesity and thinness among adolescents were 7.5%. 2.1% and 13.9%, respectively. The prevalence of obesity among the adolescents in urban areas was 4.1% while none of the rural adolescents was obese. There was a higher prevalence rate of obesity among males than among females.

    Conclusion: Obesity is creeping into traditional societies as evident in this study.

  • References

    1. J. Brug, K. Wepp, Children and adolescents. In Lawrence M, Worsely T. (eds). Public health nutrition from principle to practice. McGraw Hill, New York, USA, 2007, pp 100-126.
    2. WHO, Global consultation of friendly health service consensus statement. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2001.
    3. R. Moran, Evaluation and treatment of childhood obesity. American Family Physician 59(4) 1999 861-868.
    4. Z. Shi, N. Lien, B. N. Kumar, G. Holmboe-Ottesen, Socio-demograghic differences in food habits and preferences of school adolescents in Jiangsu province, China, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 59 (2005) 1439-48.
    5. G. S. Savige, K. Ball, A. Worsley, D. Crawford, Food intake patterns among Australian adolescents, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 16(4) 2007 738-747.
    6. B. Koletzko, V. de la Gueronniere, A. M. Toschke, R. Von Kries, and Nutrition in children and adolescents in Europe: What is the scientific basis? British Journal of Nutrition 92 (2004) S67-73.
    7. G. Takomana, A. Kalimbira, Weight gain physical activity and dietary changes during the seven months of first-year university life in Malawi, South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 25(3) 2012 132-139.
    8. G. Wardlaw, M. Kessel, Perspectives in Nutrition, 5th edn. McGraw Hill Companies, New York: USA, 2002.
    9. P. Shetty, J. Schmindhuber, Introductory lecture: The epidemiology and determinants of obesity in developed and developing countries, International Journal of Vitamin Nutritional Research 76(4) 2006 157-162.
    10. T.J Cole, M. C Bellizzi, K. M. Flegal, W.H. Dietz, Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: International survey, British Medical Journal 320 (2000) 1240-1243. Available online:
    11. N. R. Shah, E. R. Braverman, Measuring adiposity in patients: The utility of body mass index (BMI), percentage body fat, and leptin, Plos One 7(4) 2012 e33308.
    12. A. Golay, E. Bobbioni, The role of dietary fat in obesity, International Journal of Obesity 21(suppl 3) 1997 S2-S11.
    13. T. Ganley, C. Sherman, Energy metabolism and obesity, Medical Clinic of North America 84 (2000) 333-346.
    14. D. T. Ha, E. J. Feskens, P. Deurenberg, B. L. Mai, N. C. Khan, F. J. Kok, Nationwide shifts in the double burden of overweight and underweight in Vietnamese adults in 2000 and 2005: two national nutrition surveys. BMC Public Health 11 (2011) 62. Available at: http://www.biomedcentral. Com/1471–2458/62/. Accessed 12 July 2013.
    15. N. C. Khan, H. H. Khoi, Double burden of malnutrition: the Vietnamese perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 17 (2008)116–8.
    16. R. Shrimpton, Double Burden of Malnutrition. Available at http:/ Accessed 12 October 2013.
    17. T. Lobstein, L. Baur, R. Uauy, Obesity in children and young people: a crisis in public health, Obesity Review 5(suppl 1) 2004 4–104.
    18. The South African Medical Research Council and OrcMacro, South African Demographic and Health Survey 2003, Department of Health, Pictoria, South Africa 2007.
    19. U. P Ben-Bassey, A. O. Oduwole, O. O. Ogundipe, Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Eti-Osa LGA, Lagos, Nigeria, Obesity Review 8(6) 2007 475-479.
    20. J. A. Owa, O. Adejuyigbe, Fat mass, fat mass percentage, body mass index, mid upper arm circumference in a healthy population of Nigerian children, Journal of Tropical Pediatrics 43 (1997) 13–9.
    21. H. Ene-Obong, V. Ibeanu, N. Onuoha, A. Ejekwu, Prevalence of overweight, obesity and thinness among urban school-aged children and adolescents in southern Nigeria, Food Nutrition Bulletin 33(4) 2012 242-250.
    22. Library of Congress. Country profile: Nigeria. Retrieved 13th December 2012,, 2008 pp 1-23.
    23. National Population Commission. Official Gazette, 2006 census, The Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abuja: Nigeria 96(2) 2009 B1-B42.
    24. National Population Commission, 2006 Population and housing census of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: Population and housing Tables 1 (2006).
    25. WHO, Obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemic, Report of a WHO Consulation on obesity. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1998.
    26. Y. Wang, T. Lobstein, Worldwide trend in childhood overweight and obesity, International Journal of Pediatric Obesity 1 (2006) 11-25.
    27. I. O. Senbanjo, K. A. Oshikoya, Physical activity and body mass index of school children and adolescents in Abeokuta, Southwest Nigeria, World Journal of Pediatrics 6 (3) 2010 217-222.
    28. V. O. Omuemu, C. E. Omuemu, The prevalence of overweight and its risk factors among adolescents in an urban city in Edo State, Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice 13(2) 2010 128-133.
    29. WHO 2013, Underweight in children. Available at Accessed 12 October 2013.
    30. K. Hesketh, M. Wake, E. Waters, Body mass index and parent-reported self-esteem in elementary school children: Evidence for a causal relationship, International Journal of Obesity 28 (2004) 1233-1237.
    31. R. M. Puhl, K. D.Brownell, Bias, discrimination and obesity, Obesity Research 11 (2001) 1033-1039.
    32. A. Bener, Prevalence of obesity, overweight and underweight in Qatari adolescents, Food Nutrition Bulletin 27 (2006) 39–45.
    33. S. A. Adegoke, W. A. Oluwu, O. O. Adeodu, J. B. Elusiyan, I. O. Dedeke, Prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in Ile-Ife, South-western Nigeria, West African Journal of Medicine 28(4) 2009 216-221.
    34. A. M. Al-Sendi, P. Shetty, A. O. Musaiger, Prevalence of overweight and obesity among Bahraini adolescents: a comparison between three difference sets of criteria, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 57(3) 2003 471-474.
    35. B. Mohammadpour-Ahranjani, A. Rashidi, M. Karandish, M. R. Eshraghian, N. Kalantari, Prevalence of overweight and obesity in adolescent Tehrani students, 2000–2001: an epidemic health problem, Public Health Nutrition, 7 (2004) 645–648.
    36. P. Deurenberg, J. A. Weststrate, J. C. Seidel, Body mass index as a measure of body fatness: age-and sex-specfic prediction formulas, British Medical Journal 65 (1991) 105-114.
    37. M. Mast, I. Kortunger, E. Konig, M. J. Muller, Gender difference in fat mass of 5-7 years old children, International Journal of Obesity 22 (1998) 878-887.
  • Downloads

  • How to Cite

    Ani, P. N., Uvere, P. O., & Ene-Obong, H. N. (2013). Prevalence of overweight, obesity and thinness among adolescents in rural and urban areas of Enugu State, Nigeria. International Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 3(1), 1-7.