n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Determinants of overweight and obesity in Kenyan adolescents in public and private schools - : health

Volume 21 Number 1.2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Overweight and obesity have been identified as increasing public health problems among adolescents in many developed and developing countries. This study aimed at measuring the determinants of overweight and obesity, namely body mass index (BMI), dietary intake and physical activity levels of students (15-19 years) at public (less affluent) versus private (more affluent) schools in Kisumu East District of Kenya (n=387). A 24-hour dietary recall and 7-day food frequency were conducted with each participant. Physical activity levels were measured using the physical activity questionnaire for adolescents (PAQ-A). A higher percent of overweight adolescents were found at private schools than public schools (17% vs. 14%). Overall, 15.5% of adolescents were overweight or obese (BMI>=25). Students at private schools had significantly higher intakes of all nutrients than those at public schools, except for cholesterol and fibre. Differences between private schools and public schools were particularly high for energy (2186 Kcal vs. 1845 Kcal), fat (66g vs. 50g), carbohydrate (302g vs. 345g), and polyunsaturated fats (16g vs. 10 g), respectively. Carbohydrates (p=0.003), fruit and vegetables (p=0.013), and fats (p=0.003) were negative predictors while meat and eggs (p=0.002) and protein (p=0.005) were positive predictors of BMI. Physical activity levels were lower at public schools than at private schools. The prevalence of overweight students was highest at private schools as were intake of calories, carbohydrate, and fat, suggestive of increased urbanisation of lifestyle and associated rise in NCDs.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error