Obesity in children is increasing worldwide. Malnutrition has become a double burden challenge of public health concern in developing countries. Childhood obesity increases the risk of chronic disease in childhood as well as adulthood. However, information is very scarce about childhood obesity in developing countries specifically in Ethiopia. Therefore, we aimed to assess childhood overweight, obesity and associated factors among primary school children at Dire Dawa, Eastern Ethiopia.
A school based cross-sectional study was conducted in Dire Dawa from 1 st to 30 th March, 2016. Study participants were selected using multistage sampling method. Pre-tested self-administered questionnaire, face to face interview technique and anthropometric measurements were used to collect data by eight well trained data collectors. Data were coded, cleaned and entered into EpiData software version 3.5.1, and exported into SPSS (version 21.0) statistical software, for data analysis. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression were carried out to identify associated factors with childhood overweight and obesity. Statistical significance was declared using Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) at 95% CI and p-value less than 0.05.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity were 14.7% (95% CI: 11.7, 18.0) and 5.8% (95% CI: 3.6, 8.0), respectively. Children who were from private school (AOR = 3.4, 95% CI: 1.4, 8.5), from families belonged to high socioeconomic class (AOR = 16.9, 95% CI: 6.5, 23.9), preferred sweetened foods (AOR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.1), had not engaged in regular physical exercise (AOR = 3.8, 95% CI: 1.5, 9.8), had experienced sedentary life style like spent their free time watching TV (AOR = 3.6, 95% CI: 1.6, 7.9), play computer game (AOR = 4.6, 95% CI:1.4,15.4), and were not having close friends (AOR = 2.9, 95% CI: 1.4, 6.2) were significantly associated with overweight/obesity risk.