Media exposure in primary school pupils in South Western Nigeria: A weight concern? (pp. 315-320)
Authors: Olusegun T Afolabi, Bamidele Bello, Macellina Y Ijadunola, Christopher O Alabi, Chinedu E Akabueze, and Oluwaseun A Alabi
Abstract: The changing face of media has increased the length of time children spend before the television screen. There has been increasing evidence of the positive relationship between the length of time spent watching television and increased BMI in children. Studies have implicated childhood obesity as a predictor of premature death from endogenous causes and a positive association with death from all causes. Studies conducted among children in Nigeria have shown a prevalence of between 9-14% and 4-5% for overweight and obesity respectively in both sexes. This study explores association between screen/media exposure and body weight. This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 600 primary school pupils in south west Nigeria using interviewer administered questionnaire and anthropometric measurements of the pupils. Data were analysed using SPSS version 16 software. Data were summarised with univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis using frequency tables, chi-square and multinomial logistic regression respectively. P was significant at <0.05. Ownership of television in the household was 94%, only 29% of the pupils had a mobile phone while only 12% could use the internet. Two-thirds of the pupils were underweight while 6.6% and 2.4% were overweight and obese respectively. The association between nutritional status and gender, were statistically significant (p=0.003 and 0.001 respectively), while that between nutritional status and internet exposure was not statistically significant (p=0.98). Media exposure and snacking between meals were predictors of nutritional status. Though a preponderant part of our sample were under weight, obesity and overweight are becoming common.