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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 5, Issue.: 10


Perception and Attitude of Nigerian Mothers towards Obesity


Beckie N. Tagbo1*, Ndubuisi Uwaezuoke2, Dorothy Ihekuna3, Ifeoma Mbomi3 Chima Robert3, Ifeoma Ogbaji3 and Chinenye P. Tagbo4

1Institute of Child Health and Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.
2Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.
3Nutrition Unit, Institute of Child Health, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.
4College of Medicine, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu, Nigeria.

Article Information
(1) Kate S Collison, Department of Cell Biology, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Saudi Arabia.
(1) Anonymous, University Salgado de Olivera /Brazil.
(2) Anonymous, National Institute for Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran, Mexico.
Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/6790


Background and Introduction: The incidence of Obesity and overweight appears to be on the increase in resource poor nations that previously had to battle infectious disease and under-nutrition only. Obesity is a cause of life threatening diseases and a leading cause of death in the developed world. The most effective way of tackling obesity and overweight is by helping the population understand its dangers and have an attitude that allows for healthy trim people. Since family history reflects genetic susceptibility and environmental exposures shared by close relatives, this study assessed the perception of and attitude to obesity among mothers in a tertiary center in a Nigerian city. This is on the background knowledge that children of obese parents who also have poor perception of obesity are at a higher risk for obesity and associated diseases.
Methods: The study was a cross sectional study of Nigerian mothers attending the immunization and child welfare clinic at the Institute of Child Health, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu. Participants were enrolled consecutively after the research team had obtained ethical clearance from the hospital’s Health Research Ethics Committee. Questionnaires were administered on 322 consecutive consenting Mothers attending the immunization Clinic.
Their perception and attitude were measured from a well-structured questionnaire alongside their body mass index (BMI) obtained from height (meters) and weight (Kg) measurement.
Results: The mean (standard deviation) and median weights were 71Kg (±13.4) and 69Kg respectively; while the mean (standard deviation) and median heights were 1.6m (0.1) and 1.6m respectively (Table 1). Two hundred and four (63%) of mothers were overweight/obese (112, 36% overweight, 87, 27% obese) while 118 (37%) had normal BMI. The median BMI was 26.9 and the median BMI class was the overweight class. Fifty nine (18%) and 65 (20%) mothers had not heard of overweight and obesity respectively. Eighteen percent and 16% of respondents correctly defined overweight and obesity in lay terms while 48% and 39% had no idea respectively (Fig. 2). Forty eight (24%) of the 204 overweight and obese respondents knew they were obese or overweight.
Twenty six participants (8%) perceived obesity as a sign of good living while 264 (84%) perceived it as not being good. Ninety four (29%) believed that nothing could be done about obesity since it is inherited. Forty seven (14.6%) subjects perceived their parents to be obese and 97% of these perceived obese parents were mothers. Of the 15 participants whose children were perceived to be obese, 86% had one affected child while 14% had 2 affected children.
Conclusion: Awareness of overweight/obesity and prevention is low in the studied population and the incidence of obesity is high. A good proportion of mothers also had perceived obese parents and children. There is poor perception of body size among the obese/overweight participants. Intensive and sustained media campaign should be carried out by both government and non-government agencies to enlighten the general public on the dangers and complications including death that arise from obesity and overweight. Also, appropriate policy action and implementation will likely help to address obesity in the country of study.

Keywords :

Body Mass Index (BMI); Institute of Child Health (ICH); obesity; overweight; perception; mothers.

Full Article - PDF    Page 1260-1270

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2015/14020

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