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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
  Year: 2019 | Volume: 18 | Issue: 7 | Page No.: 644-649
DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2019.644.649
 
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The Prevalence of Underweight, Overweight and Obesity Among Primary School Learners in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Howard Gomwe , Eunice Seekoe, Daniel Ter Goon , Philemon Lyoka and Chioneso S Marange

Abstract:
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of body weight disorders among primary school learners in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Materials and Methods: A school based cross-sectional survey was conducted among 876 primary school learners aged 9-14 years, using multistage sampling techniques. Body mass, stature and body mass index (BMI) were calculated. Results: Out of 876 participants, 61.8% were underweight, 32.3% were normal, 3.8% were overweight and 2.1% were obese. The prevalence of underweight was significantly higher (n = 541; 61.8%), as compared to other BMI classifications. Boys had higher prevalence of underweight (n = 251; 70.5%), as compared to the girls (n = 290; 55.8%). About 70.5% boys were underweight, 27.3% were normal, 1.1% were overweight and 1.1% were obese, whereas, 55.8% girls were underweight, 35.8% were normal, 5.6% were overweight and 2.9% were obese. The highest prevalence of underweight (77.7%) was observed in the age group 9-10 years followed by the age group 11-12 years (62.7%), which showed a significant association between age and BMI. The high number of underweight children were in rural (n = 298; 64.8%) and semi-urban (n = 144; 60.3%) areas, as compared to urban areas (n = 99; 56.3%). Conclusion: The high prevalence of underweight among the primary school learners in the study setting requires a serious stakeholder intervention strategy.
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How to cite this article:

Howard Gomwe, Eunice Seekoe, Daniel Ter Goon, Philemon Lyoka and Chioneso S Marange, 2019. The Prevalence of Underweight, Overweight and Obesity Among Primary School Learners in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 18: 644-649.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2019.644.649

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=pjn.2019.644.649

 
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