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This study was carried out to assess obesity and it implications among rural adult. Specifically, the study determined the level of obesity prevalence among rural adults, identified the factors that influence overweight and obesity among rural adults, identified the health risk factors associated with overweight and obesity among rural adults and, suggesting ways to prevent obesity among rural adults. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 77 responses were validated from the survey. The study adopted the Trait theories (Lay’s Theory). From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed the factors that influence overweight and obesity among rural adults include: hereditary, pre natal and early life influences, poor diet and too litle physical activities. Furthermore, the findings revealed that the health risk factors associated with overweight and obesity among rural adults include cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and certain types of cancers.. The study recommends stakeholders to make policies that will recognize and address the emerging challenges of childhood overweight and obesity in Nigeria in general during this period of Health Sector Reform.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In affluent societies, obesity is the most common nutritional disorder. Obesity is a condition characterized by an abnormally excessive level of body fat (Edinburgh 1995). It is defined as abnormal adipose tissue growth caused by fat cell enlargement (hypertrophic obesity) or an increase in the number of fat cells (hyperplastic obesity) or a combination of the two (Park 2004). Excess fat accumulates as a result of an imbalance in energy intake and expenditure. Obesity’s importance cannot be overstated because it is linked to increased morbidity and mortality. It predisposes to the development of serious diseases and reduces the efficiency and happiness of those who suffer from it.
Obesity is a chronic disease that affects both developed and developing countries, and it affects both children and adults. Obesity is now so common that it is displacing more traditional public health concerns, such as malnutrition (Park 2004). It is now a worldwide phenomenon. It is extremely difficult to assess the size of the problem and compare prevalence rates across countries because no exact figures are available, and definitions of obesity are not standardized. However, it is estimated that 10 to 20% of children and adolescents in developed countries are affected (Stone, & Saxon, 2005).
Overweight is defined as having an excess of body weight but not necessarily body fat; a body mass index (BMI) of 25 – 29.9. In children aged two years and older, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is acceptable for determining obesity (Deurenberg, Westrate & Seidell 1991). Although children and adults have the same BMI number, the criteria used to interpret the meaning of the BMI number for children and teens differ from those used for adults. BMI age and gender percentiles are used (www.cdc) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published tables to help determine this in children (www.cdc.gov). Overweight (but not obese) is defined as a BMI between the overweight and obesity cut-off values, whereas obese is defined as a BMI greater than the obesity cut-off value (www.cdc.gov). The BMI for normal weight is lower than the overweight cut-off value (Stone, & Saxon, 2005).
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Obesity is a health hazard and a detriment to one’s well-being, as evidenced by increased morbidity and mortality (Park 2004). It plays an important role in the natural history of other chronic and noncommunicable diseases. Obesity is now recognized as a serious public health concern due to its rising prevalence and numerous negative health consequences (Kosen, 2018). Chronic disease incidence is rising much faster in developing countries than in developed countries. There is compelling evidence that childhood obesity is becoming more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries. In many developing countries, malnutrition and obesity coexist (Katz, 2007). Obesity has numerous health consequences. The first issues that arise in these obese children are usually emotional or psychological in nature. Obesity often leads to serious conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep problems, and cancer. Other disorders include liver disease, menarche or early puberty, eating disorders such as anorexia, skin infections, asthma, and other respiratory problems (Mayoclinic 2009). According to studies, overweight people are more likely to become diseased. Obesity during adolescence has been linked to an increase in adulthood mortality rates. Obese people are frequently subjected to teasing, harassment, and ridicule at school. They may also face harassment, discrimination, and name-calling from family members and neighbors at home. These can result in anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, frustration, and even withdrawal. According to a study, obesity is on the rise, and physical inactivity, disordered eating perceptions, and disordered behaviors are linked to higher rates of overweight and obesity. Obese people have carotid arteries that have aged prematurely by up to thirty years, according to a 2008 study, as well as abnormal cholesterol levels. A 15-year-old obese child has the carotid artery of a 45-year-old. According to World Health Organization projections, noncommunicable diseases will account for roughly three-quarters of all deaths in the developing world by 2020 (Katz, 2007), and adolescent obesity is likely to be a major risk factor in this. This emerging public health issue of rising childhood obesity rates in developing countries will almost certainly impose a massive socioeconomic and public health burden on poorer countries in the near future. Nigeria is a developing country in Africa.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to assess obesity and it implications among rural adult. Specifically the study is aimed at:
- Examining the level of obesity prevalence among rural adults
- Identifying the factors that influence overweight and obesity among rural adults
- Identifying the health risk factors associated with overweight and obesity among rural adults.
- Suggesting ways to prevent obesity among rural adults.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will be answered in this study:
- What is the level of obesity prevalence among rural adults?
- What are the factors that influence overweight and obesity among rural adults?
- What are the health risk factors associated with overweight and obesity among rural adults?
- What ways can be used to prevent obesity among rural adults?
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Since it has been demonstrated that interventions are usually ineffective once overweight and obesity have occurred (Pinhass-Hamiel O, Zietler P 2000), it is critical to generate and disseminate research information to policymakers, health care providers, parents, and the general public so that obesity can be dealt with at an early age. The emerging trends in the factors influencing overweight and obesity among rural adults are definite health risks that necessitate definite studies and data for intervention planning. Because of the limited number of studies available in Nigeria (as in other developing countries), little is known about the prevalence of overweight and obesity, particularly in the South Eastern States of Nigeria. More studies and data are needed in Nigeria to provide a reliable assessment of the problem of overweight and obesity in Nigeria, as well as to compare its prevalence with that of other regions of the world. Studies like this one are therefore required to uncover this ostensibly hidden but critical public health issue. This research will serve as an additional and contribution to these efforts. This study can equip stakeholders to make policies that will recognize and address the emerging challenges of obesity in Nigeria in general during this period of Health Sector Reform. Seminars with evidence of this research data could be organized in Uyo West Local Government Area in particular, for students and parents to initiate and stir up voluntary preventive health measures for themselves against obesity.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focused on assessing obesity and it implications among rural adult. Specifically this study will be focused on examining the level of obesity prevalence among rural adults, identifying the factors that influence overweight and obesity among rural adults, identifying the health risk factors associated with overweight and obesity among rural adults and suggesting ways to prevent obesity among rural adults.
Residents of Uyo Local Government in Akwa Ibom State will serve as enrolled participants for this survey.
- LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is subject to the limitations and challenges that come with any research that uses questionnaires, such as noncompliance by some respondents and insufficient information about the problem under investigation. Finally, financial and time constraints were also some of the challenges that posed a lot of limitations on the scope of this study.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Obesity: Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.
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