Prevelence and associated factors of childhood obesity among school-going children aged 10-14 years in community-based schools of Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Policy & Management (MSc Health Policy & Mgmt)


Community Health Sciences


Obesity has tripled since 1975 and it is among the first five leading causes of mortality. Almost 340 million children were reported to be overweight and obese globally. Malnutrition is at the rising trend in developing countries making it a public health issue. Overweight and obesity among children may continue into adulthood causing heart diseases and other chronic diseases. We aim to analyze association of childhood obesity with sociodemographic characteristics, dietary pattern and physical activity pattern among children aged 10-14 years. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study conducted in Karachi, Pakistan from July 18 to August 31, 2018. Study participants were selected by using 2-stage random sampling technique. Data collection comprised of anthropometric measurement, sociodemographic information, food frequency questionnaire and youth physical activity questionnaire. Data was entered in open epi version 3.1 and exported to SPSS (version 23.0) for statistical analysis. Descriptive statistics and univariate analysis were performed using Binary Logistic Regression to analyze associated factors of childhood obesity and overweight. Statistical significance was declared OR, 95% CI and p-value less than 0.05. Results: Two hundred and thirty-eight students were enrolled in the study after receiving parental consent and parental sociodemographic information. The prevalence of overweight and obesity were 16.4% and 15.5% respectively. Of those 32.8% were males and 61.8% were females. Over one fourth (26.3%) of the overweight and obese children belonged to Gulshan community (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.25-2.14) had 1-3 siblings (OR = 3.55, 95% CI = 1.42-8.85) and had a graduated mother (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.53-2.94) or father (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 0.57-2.69). Overweight and obese children had high intake of high calorie starch and cereal and high calorie snack item (4 times / week) and were sedentary for more than 4 hours per week. Conclusion: Page 3 igher rates of overweight and obesity is an emerging public health challenge and making prevention a public health priority. School-based or community-based interventions are required to create awareness, encourage healthy diet and improve physical activity among children and adolescents. Key Words: Child; childhood obesity; overweight and obesity; adolescent; associated factors; dietary pattern; physical activity; community-based schools; Karachi; Pakistan.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library