PREVALENCE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY AND ITS SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS ON PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN THE CAPE COAST METROPOLIS, GHANA
Keywords:Obesity, Prevalence Of Obesity, Childhood Obesity, Socio-Psychological, Primary Schools
Childhood obesity is a major public health concern around the globe as it is associated with adverse consequences such as psychological problems, lower educational attainment, and a high risk of health challenges later in life. The study investigated the prevalence of obesity and its socio-psychological effects on primary school children in the Cape Coast Metropolis, Ghana. Interview schedule and interview guide were used to collect primary data from 317 pupils and 24 teachers respectively from public and private schools in 2018. Microsoft Excel software (version 2013) was used to analyse quantitative data while content analysis was used for qualitative data based on themes. The result indicated that the overall prevalence rate was five percent. Prevalence of obesity was higher in private schools than public schools while that among male pupils was higher than their female counterparts. Pupils of age 11 years were at higher risk than those at age nine years. The socio-psychological effects on the affected children included stigmatization, exclusion from taking part in some competitive activities, inactive and often slept during lessons. The school authorities should collaborate with the Metropolitan Directorates of Education and Health to manage obesity in the schools. They could invite health experts to educate school management, teachers, pupils, and parents on support systems for managing childhood obesity.
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