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Epidemiology and Health 2018;e2018017.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2018017    [Accepted] Published online May 12, 2018.
Is small play area in schools associated with overweight among students? A comparative cross-sectional study in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tsedey Moges2  , Bereket Gebremichael1  , Solomon Shiferaw1  , Robel Yirgu1 
1Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Correspondence  Bereket Gebremichael ,Tel: +251115157116, Fax: +251115157116, Email: bdpapi3@gmail.com
Submitted: February 13, 2018  Accepted after revision: May 12, 2018
Childhood obesity has more than doubled since it was formally recognized as a global epidemic in 1997. With increasingly dwindling space for private schools in Ethiopia, there is unresolved concern among the public on the possible effect of limited play area in schools on overweight/obesity. This study intended to determine and compare the levels of overweight and obesity among adolescents in private schools with and without adequate play area in Addis Ababa.
School based comparative cross-sectional study was conducted among 1276 adolescents. 20 private schools were grouped into two based on their size of play area. Data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire and anthropometric measurements and analyzed using descriptive statistical tests and logistic regression.
The magnitude of overweight and obesity was significantly higher in schools without adequate play area than in schools with adequate play area, % (95% CI) = 19.4% (16.4 - 22.7%) and 14.6% (11.9 - 17.5%) respectively. Inadequate play area was also positively associated with overweight/obesity in the multiple logistic regression analysis, OR (95% CI) = 1.62 (1.05-2.51). Using private car transportation to and from school, father’s educational status (secondary school and above) and middle wealth quintile were other significantly associated factors with overweight/obesity, OR (95% CI) =2.27 (1.13-4.57), 2.54 (1.14-5.62) and 2.54 (1.50-4.33) respectively.
Inadequate play area in schools is an important contributor for overweight and obesity. Sedentary behavior was also significant factor associated with overweight/obesity.
Keywords: Adolescent; Overweight ; Obesity; School’s play area
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