Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of adiposity and has been used in many countries for assessment of overweight and obesity. The prevalence of obesity in children is increasing and is recognized as risk indicator of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. The study aimed was to document the Body Mass Index of school children aged 4-10 years. The study also determined the prevalence of overweight and obesity. This is a descriptive study of obesity prevalence in Nigerian Children. The weight and heights of the sampled children were measured and their BMI was calculated as weight/height (m2). Overweight and obese children were identified using charts from pooled internationally accepted data age and sex specific cut -off points for BMI. The BMI ranged from 09.25kg / m2.to28.20Kg/m2 with a mean BMI of 15.10 kg/m2. The mean BMI for males was 15.64 and the females 14.56. The prevalence of Underweight, Healthy weight, overweight and obesity were 16.33, 64.34%, 12% and 7.33% respectively. More males were significantly
overweight than females. Prevalence of overweight and obesity were highest in the highest socioeconomic class.
Most children had BMI within the normal range. The prevalence of overweight and obesity though predominantly low should be taken seriously, especially as it appears to be associated with improving socioeconomic status. School health education (physical activity and nutritional education) is recommended as preventive measures.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The global epidemic of overweight and obesity – “globosity” – is rapidly becoming a major public health problem in many parts of the world. Paradoxically coexisting with under nutrition in developing countries. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of adiposity and has been used in many countries for assessment of overweight and obesity. the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity is associated with many diet-related chronic diseases including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension and certain cancers.
In order to maintain a regular and constant body weight standard, the knowledge of body mass index was introduced by the world health organization to enable the entire public have an inside into proper diet regulation. But for the interest of this study, emphasis will be laid only on the body mass index of children within the age of four to ten years old.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a child’s weight and height. BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness for most children and teens. It does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat, such as underwater weighing and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).1 BMI can be considered an alternative for direct measures of body fat. Additionally, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems. For adults it is usually age independent and may not absolutely depend on sex of the individual, but for children and teens, BMI is age- and sex-specific and is often referred to as BMI-for-age.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The problem of this research work is to ascertain the degree of precision in using the analysis of body mass index in determining the nutritional status of children within the age of four to ten years.
Secondly to assemble information of sufficient quality and quantity which will help in the provision of basis for making accurate analysis and sound decision on the health of children within the age of four years to ten years old using their body mass index.
1.3 SCOPE OF STUDY
This project work comprises of the principles which accomplishes the processes 0f determining the nutritional status of children within the ages of four to ten years using their body mass index, it also covers the exploitations of some statistical models which helps in the proper estimations of child’s nutritional condition, using a world known standard for health status determination.
1.4 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
One of the major significance of this study is that the knowledge of body mass index will raise parental consciousness on the quality of diet being given to their children, in other for them to maintain healthy body weight.
Secondly, through this research work, necessary dietary recommendations to the authorities of most children controlling institutions will help in the reduction of overweight, obesity and under-weight among children.
1.5 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE
Body mass index have been in use over the years by most medical and socioeconomic field of endeavour, but proper analysis together with some statistical importance about BMI have been of limited consideration. The aim of this project is to analyze the health importance of continually measuring the BMI of children.
Secondly, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can help you prevent and control many diseases and conditions. If you are overweight or obese, you are at higher risk of developing serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers. That is why maintaining a healthy weight is so important: