PERCEPTION OF CHILD OBESITY AMONG THE ELITES IN BODIJA, IBADAN, NIGERIA
Child obesity is on the rise globally and evidence suggests that this upward trend has continued into the 21st century. Genetic, dietary and/or physical activity patterns are important factors explaining why increasing number of children and adolescents are becoming obese. Evidence also suggests that social class position may be important in understanding the upsurge in its occurrence. In Nigeria, information on parents’ perception of the obese status of their children is still inadequate. There is also a dearth of information on perceived causes and effect of child obesity among Nigerian elites. This article discusses knowledge of the etiology of child obesity among the elites, awareness of therapeutic measures, efficacy of adopted measures and assumed solutions. Utilizing both descriptive and survey research design, 180 high status residents in Bodija, Ibadan, were recruited as respondents through systematic random sampling techniques. Using purposive sampling, additional information on child obesity was obtained from ten medical and health service providers in the area. Research instruments comprised of questionnaires and unstructured interview guides. Results revealed that although respondents were generally aware of obesity and child obesity, and were generally conversant with its etiology, they were not unduly worried about the consequences of obesity although they recognized its possible harmful health outcomes. The article recommends for more educational and preventive social policies to encourage positive nutritional and recreational habits.
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