The Overweight and its Associated Risk Factors among Students in Tertiary Institutions of Learning in Mongu District of Western Province, Zambia; A cross-sectional Survey.

Authors

  • Larry L. Mooka Lewanika College of Nursing, Midwifery and Public Health, P.O Box 910147, Mongu, Zambia and Department of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, School of Public Health and Environmental Sciences https://orcid.org/0009-0006-1890-5408
  • Dr. Nawa Mukumbuta Levy Mwanawasa Medical University, P. O. Box 33991, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Ms Priscilla Funduluka Levy Mwanawasa Medical University, P. O. Box 33991, Lusaka, Zambia.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.55320/mjz.50.4.445

Keywords:

Overweight, Obesity, Body mass index, Prevalence, Diet, Sex

Abstract

Introduction: Overweight and obesity are key public health issues in many high-income countries and have become a major public health concern affecting all ages, including adolescents in low-income and middle-income countries. This study determined the prevalence of overweight and obesity and their associated factors among undergraduate students at colleges and universities in the Mongu district of the Western Province of Zambia.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Undergraduate students aged 18 to 26 years were sampled from two colleges and one university in Mongu. Data was collected electronically by trained research assistants using a structured questionnaire using Kobo Collect software. Data was analysed using Stata version 14 software. The analysis included descriptive statistics, using counts, frequencies, percentages, means and medians depending on the distribution of the data. Chi-squared tests of association, bivariate, and multivariate logistic regression were done to test for association between overweight and independent variables. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: A total of 330 students were captured in the survey; over half of the respondents were female students 214 (64.85%), while 116 (35.15%) were male respondents. Body Mass Index (BMI) showed that 21 (6.8%) were underweight, 208 (63.0%) had normal weight, 76 (23.0%) were overweight, and 25 (7.6%) were obese. Factors associated with overweight and obesity included female sex aOR 1.68 (95%CI 1.02 – 2.76), age and alcohol intake.

Conclusions: A third of the students were either overweight or obese. Sex, age and alcohol intake were significantly associated with overweight and obesity among students. The prevalence of overweight and obesity is high among young adults, and this calls for early interventions in learning institutions to combat obesity.

Keywords: Overweight, obesity, body mass index, prevalence, diet, sex.

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Author Biographies

Larry L. Mooka, Lewanika College of Nursing, Midwifery and Public Health, P.O Box 910147, Mongu, Zambia and Department of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, School of Public Health and Environmental Sciences

Lecturer - Department of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, School of Public Health and Environmental Sciences. 

Dr. Nawa Mukumbuta, Levy Mwanawasa Medical University, P. O. Box 33991, Lusaka, Zambia.

Senior Lecturer - Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Environmental Sciences. 

Ms Priscilla Funduluka, Levy Mwanawasa Medical University, P. O. Box 33991, Lusaka, Zambia.

Assistant Dean - Department of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, School of Public Health and Environmental Sciences. 

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Published

30-03-2024

How to Cite

Mooka, L., Mukumbuta, N., & Funduluka, P. (2024). The Overweight and its Associated Risk Factors among Students in Tertiary Institutions of Learning in Mongu District of Western Province, Zambia; A cross-sectional Survey. Medical Journal of Zambia, 50(4), 320–329. https://doi.org/10.55320/mjz.50.4.445

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Original Article

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