Waist Circumference as a Measure to Determine Obesity among Primary School Children in Ogoni, Rivers State

Okoh Peter Done1, Amadi Michael Anozie2,*, Benwoke Woroma Ibiwari2

1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Science, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
2Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Abstract:Study of body proportion is useful in investigating nutrition-related disorders that are of clinical and public health concerns such as obesity among individuals in different populations. The aim of this study was to study waist circumference as a measure to determining obesity among primary school children in Ogoni. This study was a cross-sectional survey that made use of 1000 randomly selected school children in Ogoni, Rivers State within the ages of 6 – l2 years divided into 489 males and 511 females drawn from primary schools in Ogoni. Waist circumference was measured with the subject in a standing position and measuring tape placed horizontally around the waist region, corresponding to the superior iliac crest and then crossing the line to indicate the mid axillary line of the body. Measurement was carried out at minimal respiration to the nearest 0.1cm and recorded. Data obtained was subjected to statistical analysis using IBM SPSS version 23. Continuous variables were presented as mean ± SD. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was done to establish significant differences in the measured parameters according to age group. Age was categorized into four groups (6 – 7, 8 – 9, 10 – 11, ≤12 years). Independent sample t-test was carried out to determine significant difference in the measured parameters between sexes. The confidence interval was set at 95%, therefore p< 0.05 was considered significant. Result showed that mean WC was 56.5±3.56cm while BMI was 15.21±3.40kg/m2. Mean WC for males was 56.70±2.78cm and 58.07±2.10cm for females whereas mean BMI for males and females were 56.70±2.78 and 58.07±2.10 respectively. Mean WC and BMI were found to be higher among females. This variation between sexes was statistically significant (ρ < 0.05). Across age groups, variation was observed as the parameters increased with increasing age. This variation was statistically significant (ρ < 0.05). It could be concluded that primary school children in Ogoni are not obese while increase in WC as age increased indicated growth.

Keywords: waist circumference, BMI, obesity, school children, Ogoni.


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