To determine the prevalence and socio-demographic aspects of
obesity in primary school children in Accra Metropolis.
Design: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted on sample of 1123
children aged 6-10 years attending primary schools who were selected by
multistage sampling using school registers and listings o f primary schools by
Accra M etropolitan Education Service.
Setting: Four public and four private primary schools in Accra Metropolis.
Subjects and Methods: In total, 1123 subjects (584 females and 539 males)
participated. There was however 912 questionnaires available for further analysis.
Socio-demographic data were obtained by self-administered questionnaire and
measurements were made o f weight, height and triceps skin fold thickness.
Results: The mean age for males was 8.43 years and that for females 8.41years
(p<0.001).The mean weight for males was 26.8kg and that for females 27.8kg
(p<0.001). The mean BMI for males was 16. lkg/m 2 and that for females
16.5kg/m2 (p<0.001). The mean skin fold thickness for males was 6.8mm and that
for females 9.6mm (p<0.001). Crude prevalence of obesity (above 95 percentile)
was 5% (by CDC- criteria 3.4%), prevalence o f risk o f overweight (above 85 and
below 95 percenlile) was 10.2% (by CDC criteria 7% ) and prevalence o f
underweight (below 5 percentile) was 4.8% (by CDC criteria 3.7%). The crude
prevalence o f obesity by skin fold thickness distribution was 5.3%. The rates o f
obesity (7% vs2.8%) and at risk o f overweight (12.3% vs 7.8%) were higher in
females than males. There were more obese and at risk of overweight subjects in
the private schools 9.6% and 14.1% than that in public schools 1.1% and 6.8%,
respectively. Obesity and risk o f overweight were highest among Akan and Ewe
tribes. Subjects o f parents with tertiary education were more obese and at risk of
overweight than their counterparts of parents with lower educational level.
Conclusion: Obesity does not yet appear to be a major problem in primary school
children in Accra. A significant number, a tenth o f the children, were at risk o f
overweight category. There was co- existence o f obesity and underw eight
Economic status appeared to be an important determinant o f nutritional status.
Female gender, Akan ethnical group, private schools and higher school fees,
tertiary education o f the parents were associated w ith higher levels o f obesity and
overweight. Further work is needed to ascertain the real reasons for observed
Eastern Network, L (2021). Obesity in Primary School Children in Accra Metropolis. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/obesity-in-primary-school-children-in-accra-metropolis
Library, Eastern Network. "Obesity in Primary School Children in Accra Metropolis" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 06 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/obesity-in-primary-school-children-in-accra-metropolis . Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.
Library, Eastern Network. "Obesity in Primary School Children in Accra Metropolis". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 06 Apr. 2021. Web. 11 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/obesity-in-primary-school-children-in-accra-metropolis >.
Library, Eastern Network. "Obesity in Primary School Children in Accra Metropolis" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 11, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/obesity-in-primary-school-children-in-accra-metropolis