Overweight and Abdominal Obesity among School Children in Porto-Novo/Benin
Abstract Introduction: An increasingly higher prevalence of overweight and abdominal obesity among children is noted in developing countries, with all its serious consequences. Objective: Determine the prevalence and factors associated with overweight and abdominal obesity among primary school students aged 5 to 12 years in the city of Porto-Novo. Methods: This research work was a cross-sectional and analytical study carried out from December 2016 to May 2017. It focused on 651 primary school students randomly selected in schools of PortoNovo; we calculated their BMI and measured their umbilical cord circumference. Data were entered, analyzed and processed using the softwares EPI-DATA3.1 and EPI-INFO 7; p value is significant when it is<0.05. Findings: Prevalence of overweight was 8.6% (56/651) including 6.5% (42/651) for excess weight and 2.1% (14/651) for obesity. The one of abdominal obesity was 8% (52/651). The factors associated with excess weight and obesity were parents’ high socioeconomic status, absence of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life, daily snacking of sweet cakes, use of motor vehicles to go to school, high number of hours spent watching television or video games. As regards abdominal obesity, in addition to factors mentioned above, associated factors were lack of regular sports activity and exercises and prematurity. Prevalence of abdominal obesity was more significantly higher in primary school students with overweight and obesity than in those with normal weight (p=0.000). Conclusion: There are overweight, obesity and abdominal obesity in the schools of Porto-Novo and risk factors were identified. It is advisable to extend the study to a larger population of children and raise awareness among the community about those scourges.