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7% schoolchildren in Nigeria are obese

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By Mercy Kelani

BMI or growth chart is used to calculate the weight range of every child.

Oftentimes, parents relate weight gain in their children to good living which unknowingly to them is either healthy or unhealthy. They are usually oblivious of this fact due to ignorance of the healthy level of weight gain. On most occasions, children with uncontrolled weight gain are at risk of obesity and complications that come with it which usually becomes visible as they grow. Normally, every child has a weight range which can be known by usage of either the growth chart or the body mass index (BMI).

The body mass index (BMI) reflects the weight status of a child according to their height. Using BMI, the weight of a child is divided in kilograms (kg) based on the square of their height in meters. For example, the BMI of a 7-year-old 25kg child who is 1.2m tall can be calculated as approximately 17kg/m2. The value from this calculation can therefore be compared to the BMIs of children of same sex and age to derive their own BMI percentile. With the BMI percentile, children can be grouped into weight categories.

A child is obese when his/her BMI is above the 95th percentile.

CDC affirms that any child who has a BMI of less than the 5th percentile is underweight; children whose BMI fall between the 5th and 85th percentile have healthy weight; a child is considered overweight when his/her BMI falls between the 85th and 95th percentile; while a child is obese when his/her BMI is above the 95th percentile. Uniformity of the BMI is not assured as it cuts across different ages and gender as the body weight of children varies according to their sex and gender as they grow.

BMI of a child is known as BMI-for-age which corresponds to the BMIs of any other child in the same age and gender group; however, it does not reveal all about weight gain and body fat. For instance, athletic children who have short statures and heavy muscular builds have a high tendency of having a high BMI-for-age that is not as a result of obesity or excess fat. Regardless, the practical index for the measurement of body fat is the BMI-for-age.

1 child in 100 under 5 Nigerian children are obese – UNICEF.

In addition, parents are advised to help their children work towards having a BMI-for-age that is between the 5th and 85th percentile because any child whose weight falls below the 5th percentile is said to either be acquiring less energy or to be burning more energy than is taken in which is a symptom of nutritional deficiency. In contrast, consumption of more calories than a child burn would enable a positive energy balance that could make the child’s weight rise above the 85th percentile.

According to a 2018 UNICEF estimation, 1 child in 100 under 5 Nigerian children are overweight. A report on another recent study states that about 7 percent of Nigerian schoolchildren from age 5 to 13 are obese; however, there is currently no specific national data that gives a comprehensive estimation of childhood obesity in Nigeria. Increase in obesity is closely linked to sleep patterns, a child’s diet and level of physical activity, as stated by doctors and nutritionists.

Obesity causes cancer, hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

UNICEF reports that continuous diets of ultra-processed foods like cakes and confectioneries, noodles, juice, biscuits and beverages can make a child obese and overweight. Also, according to the National Sleep Foundation, children who do not play well enough or sleep for less than 9 to 13 hours per day would likely become obese. An obese child is likewise likely to grow into an obese adult which makes them at risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis and cancer. Eating the right kinds of food, getting enough sleep and engaging in exercise and sports can help a child maintain a healthy weight.


Related Link

Mayo Clinic: Website


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jdpumping
Member
1 year ago

Obesity is a serious issue and need tobe tackled because most children in Nigeria are obese and parents tends to believe is essence of good living which is not so because as they grow different health challenges tends to show up

Abusi
Abusi
Member
1 year ago

We need to do enough to help these obese children. They need utmost care and they should be taken care of. I’m happy we are also creating awareness on behalf of them.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
Member
1 year ago

The Obesity in children in Nigeria nowadays is mainly cause by what these children eat and also lack of much exercise,most of the schools doesn’t have play ground or field for exercise .

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
Member
1 year ago

It is common for children whose weight increase is out of control to develop obesity and its associated health problems when they get older.

Christiana
Christiana
Member
1 year ago

The BMI may not necessarily apply uniformly across all age groups and sexes because of the natural differences in height and weight that occur between boys and girls as they mature.

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
Member
1 year ago

7% schoolchildren in Nigeria are obese. Obesity is growing gradually day by day, month by month and year by year. We need to do something to reduce it, especially parents. Sometimes child should not decide what they want to eat. Parent need to make the decision of what they’re children eat. It’s very necessary

theApr
theApr
Member
1 year ago

Obesity in kids is due to parents being oblivious to certain things. Parents are expected to keep their kids diet in check. Obesity is not something that happens overnight. It’s gradual. And when it gets to a certain point, it’s usually hard to fight. Parents can do better.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
Member
1 year ago

Quite frequently, parents attribute their children’s weight gain to a decent way of living, which, unbeknownst to them, may be either healthy or ill.

Bola12
Bola12
Member
1 year ago

Diseases like diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and cancer are all linked to obesity, which increases the probability that a child will be an obese adult.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
Member
1 year ago

Children who have weight gain that is out of control run the risk of becoming obese, which brings with it a host of health problems that, in most cases, become apparent as the child continues to mature.

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
Member
1 year ago

This number can then be used to determine the child’s body mass index percentile by comparing it to the BMIs of other children of the same gender and age, and children’s weight can be classified into categories based on their body mass index percentile.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
Member
1 year ago

An elevated body mass index for their age is not always the result of being overweight or obese. This is especially true of young athletes who tend to be small yet muscular.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
Member
1 year ago

Since obesity is not something that can be achieved quickly, it is the responsibility of parents to monitor the diets of their children. It comes on slowly.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
Member
1 year ago

If a child is fat, there is a good chance that they will continue to be obese as adults, which puts them at increased risk for a variety of conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and cancer.

Kazeem1
Kazeem1
Member
1 year ago

I’m glad we’re raising awareness on their behalf and doing what we can to help the many children who are overweight or obese.

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
Member
1 year ago

Children’s obesity in Nigeria is due in large part to their sedentary lifestyles and the fact that few schools provide opportunities for physical activity.

Haykaylyon26
Member
1 year ago

We all need to fight and help these obese children and take care of them. And what children will be eating and drink should be well manage something need to be done to reduce it because it is increasing small small so we have to kill it for it not to rise

Remi1
Remi1
Member
1 year ago

Any child whose weight falls below the 5th percentile is said to either be acquiring less energy or to be burning more energy than is taken in, which is a symptom of nutritional deficiency, so parents are advised to assist their children in working towards having a BMI-for-age that is between the 5th and 85th percentile.

SarahDiv
Member
1 year ago

If 7% schoolchildren in Nigeria are obese then their parents need to sit up and work on their obesity.