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PERCEIVED EFFECTIVENESS OF OBESITY AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
The prevalence of obesity has increased in an alarming rate so much that it now occurs in children. Advancement of technology has made a lot of people’s lifestyle to be sedentary. There are a lot of programmes established to ensure people have a normal healthy body weight. This study explores the perception of undergraduates about various weight and obesity management strategies. The research was hypothesized that undergraduates significantly perceived (1) diet (2) physical activity (3) use of drugs (4) surgery as effective weight management strategies and that there is a significant difference between male and female participants in their perception of effectiveness on diet, physical activity and surgery as weight management strategies. The descriptive research was adopted for the study. The population of the study was undergraduates of the University of Lagos. The sample involved in the study were (400) undergraduates of the Faculty of Education. They were selected using the stratified random sampling technique. Data was gathered through a questionnaire which was analyzed using spss at 0.05 level of significance. The results revealed that a significant difference exists in their perception of drugs as an effective weight management strategy. On the basis of these findings, it was recommended that respondents are unaware of the dangers of surgery and drugs as weight management strategies. There is a need to inform through enlightenment campaign.
Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world. Today it is estimated that there are more than 300 million obese people world-wide. Obesity is defined as a condition of excess body fat and is associated with a large number of debilitating and life-threatening disorders. According to Wold Health Organisation (2002), obesity is one of the largest health threats facing the world. Most researchers, Latner and Stunkard (2000) agree that obesity is a consequence of chronic energy imbalance.
The prevalence of obesity is increasing in most parts of the world including Nigeria, affecting men, women and children. Different methods of treating this disease have been established in the various part of the world including Nigeria. Some of these methods include pharmacotherapy, physical activity, diet and surgery.
Body weight is a significant determinant of health and disease both obesity and underweight have been associated with disease. WHO (1995) affirmed that obesity has been associated with several non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and lipid disorders as well as with increased morbidity and mortality among adults. Bakari and Onyemelukwe (2005) viewed that underweight is associated with infections such as tuberculosis. In Nigeria, there is a disturbing trend towards increasing adiposity (Treblay & Wilms, 2002). In developing countries, this has been attributed to the so called nutritional transition. Flegal, and Carol (1998) found that in developing countries, a double burden of obesity (suggesting over-nutrition) on the one hand, and underweight (suggesting under-nutrition) on the other hand is not uncommon.
Public health campaigns to increase exercise levels and to reduce caloric intake have been initiated in many countries both at the local and national level (Tremblay & Wilms, 2002). Care must be taken to ensure that in such endeavours to reduce overweight and obese levels a realistic and healthy body weight is the goal of such campaigns (Flegal & Carol, 1998). This is particularly important in order to avoid an increase in weight anxiety and restrained eating with an increase in the number of campaigns aimed at increasing exercise levels and reducing excessive food intake.
Statement of the Problem
The researcher has observed that there is an increasingly large number of overweight and obese students among undergraduate of the University of Lagos. Obesity is a public health problem because of its prevalence, review of literature also indicated that as a solution to this problem, a number of obesity and weight management strategies are being implemented across the world. Some of these weight management strategies have been found to be ineffective and replete with adverse consequences that are sometimes fatal. It is therefore important that individuals have accurate information about weight management strategies and their consequences. This study is designed to find out what undergraduates of Faculty of Education know about this strategies and how they perceive them.
The following research questions will be answered in this study.
1. Will undergraduates significantly perceive the use of diet as an effective weight management strategy?
2. Will undergraduates significantly perceive the use of physical activity as an effective weight management strategy?
3. Will undergraduates significantly perceive pharmacotherapy (the use of drug) as an effective weight management strategy?
4. Will undergraduates significantly perceive the use of surgery as an effective weight management strategy?
5. Will the gender of participants significantly influence their perception of the effectiveness of obesity and weight management strategies?
The following research hypotheses will be tested in this study
1. Undergraduates will not significantly perceive diet as an effective weight management strategy.
2. Undergraduates will not significantly perceive physical activity as an effective weight management strategy.
3. Undergraduates will not significantly perceive pharmacotherapy as an effective weight management strategy.
4. Undergraduates will not significantly perceive surgery as an effective weight management strategy.
5. Gender will have no significant influence on perceived effectiveness of obesity and weight management strategies.
Significance of the Study
It is hoped that curriculum planners and school administrators may be better equipped to include knowledge about obesity and weight management strategy in the curriculum to all students by considering such information when making curricular, pedagogical or program decisions. The findings of this research may serve as a basis for research work in the area of obesity and weight management strategy thus provide data base for further research
This study will be delimited to the following respect
1. Undergraduate of Faculty of Education, University of Lagos.
2. Only 400 students served as participants in the study
3. Four weight management strategies namely
c. Physical activity
4. Inferential statistics of chi-square and t-Test
Limitation of the Study
1. Difficulty in getting even number of students in a particular level because after receiving the questionnaire the researcher may find out that there were carry over students in the class where questionnaires were distributed.
2. The researcher faced the challenge of different students from different departments taking a borrowed course which made it difficult to obtain information from proportional number of participants from each level from the departments.
Operational Definition Of Terms
Obesity: is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health.
Pharmacotherapy: is the treatment of obesity through the administration of drugs.
Diet: modifying a healthful food intake.
Physical activity: is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure.
Surgery: the branch of medicine that treats diseases, injuries, and deformities by manual or operative method. e.g gastro bypass surgery.
Weight management: involves various methods of keeping body weight at a healthy level.
Strategy: practice necessary to keep one’s weight at a healthy level.
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