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ASSOCIATION BETWEEN EATING HABITS AND BODY MASS INDEX AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ABAKALIKI METROPOLIS, EBONYI STATE.

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION 

Background to the study
 Obesity is the condition in which excess fat accumulates in the body, mostly in the subcutaneous tissues; clinically, obesity is considered when the body mass index is 30kg/m2and above for adults above 20 years (Matin, 2007) and 95 percentile and above for adolescents 11 – 19 years (WHO 2009). Obesity is from the Latin word “obsesitas” meaning “stout or plump”. The Oxford English Dictionary documented its first usage in 1611 by Randle Cotgrave and during the middle-ages and renaissance; obesity was often seen as a sign of affluence and was relatively common among the elites ((Woodhouse 2008)). From most of human history, mankind struggled with food scarcity and for that reason; obesity has been historically viewed as a sign of wealth and prosperity. The Greeks were the first to recognize obesity as a medical disorder; Hippocrates wrote that “corpulence” is not only a disease itself but harbinger of others (Woodhouse, 2008). In United States of America, 300,000 deaths are caused by obesity annually, 6 million adults are morbidly obese (BM1 above 40) while 9.6 million have a body mass index of 35-40 (WHO 2009). In 1996, the World Health Organization states that more than one third of African women and a quarter of African men are estimated to be overweight and predicted that it will rise to 41% and 30% respectively in 2016 (Sharma 2007). Although data from Nigeria is scarce, conservative estimates suggest that as many as 250,000 people are obese (Sharma, 2007). Once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the increase in low income and middle income countries particularly in urban settings. Body mass index is a measure of a person’s weight based on the individual’s body weight divided by the square of his or her height; it is the most widely used tool to identify weight problem within a population (WHO 2009). Although a number of factors are implicated in the cause of obesity, the root cause is eating habit – over consumption of calories more than the body’s energy needs (Ajala, 2006). Age is a very important factor in diet and nutrition. Energy and nutrient needs are determined by basal metabolic rate, activity, body size and growth. Adolescents are noted for their voracious appetites (especially boys). Many adolescents eat food that are calorie– rich but have little nutrient value especially when they are away from home (Ajala, 2009). Students who share an off campus apartment do not plan their meals (Ajala, 2009). They may not have enough time or money to shop and prepare nourishing meals, instead they make up with junk foods and snacks. These habits have a deleterious effect on their health, physical condition and even their grades in school, if not addressed (Sharma, 2007). Teens often get one third of their energy and nutrients from snacks. Their reasons for snacking include opportunities to get out and socialize with friends, accessibility, hunger and celebration of special events (Ajala, 2009). The snacks frequently taken include potatoes and corn chips, cookies, candies, meat pies, biscuits and ice creams. The snacks are always taken with soft drinks all of which have high calorie value, which when taken in excess can have harmful effect on the body (Ajala, 2006). Overcrowding the diet with sweat treats can leave little room for important nutrient – dense foods, such as proteins, fruits and vegetables (Ajala, 2006). According to Sharma (2007) snacks, soft drinks and beverages supply mostly simple sugars which are easily absorbed in the digestive tract; for instance, glucose and galactose undergo active absorption process. He further states that the simple sugar in the absorptive cells is then transported to the liver through the portal vein. After necessary transformation, they are released into the blood stream for transportation to organs like the brain, muscles, kidney and adipose tissue. Some of the glucose that cannot be used immediately is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles and fat in the adipose tissue. Excessive accumulation of this fat resulting from over consumption of snacks, soft drinks and beverages is termed obesity (Sharma, 2007). Complications of obesity can affect the cardiovascular system, endocrine system, reproductive system, integumentary system, nervous system respiratory system, urinary system, musculo-skeletal system among others (WHO, 2009). Apart from affecting all the systems, the social, economic, psychological and other pathological or public health impacts cannot be over emphasized. Teens can obtain many nutrients from snacking, beverages and even quick-service restaurants if good choices are made and eating habit is moderated(Sharma, 2007). Poor dietary habits formed during teenage years often continue into adulthood giving rise to the problems mentioned earlier. Getting this message across to the teenagers early enough is an important task for both parents and health professionals, considering the numerous health implications involved (Sharma, 2007).

Project detailsContents
 
Number of Pages66 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
ReferenceReference
QuestionnaireQuestionnaire
AppendixAppendix
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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