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Researchers fear the phenomenon of overweight and obese school children is becoming a major problem after the first systematic survey found that high numbers of such school children a obese or overweight.
Three out of every 20 school children in urban areas in Ghana are fat. That is one of the findings of the latest research on the nutritional status of over three-thousand school children surveyed in the country.
The research, which was conducted in Kumasi and Accra, also revealed that the condition is even higher in private schools where one out of every five children is either overweight or obese.
The survey, which is the first systematic research on school children, is a collaboration of the Nutrition and Food Science Department of the University of Ghana and the Ministry of Education.
Earlier research had focused on children under five and adults. Speaking to XYZ News the Principal Investigator of the project Professor Anna Lartey said the finding should be a matter of worry for the country.
“What we have done is that we have provided empirical data that will move us to action. Now we have worked with over three thousand school children looking at their nutritional status.”
Prof. Lartey said the research also found that the conditions that most of these children find themselves in is the cause of problem. “Our eating habits are changing our physical activity levels are reducing, and for many of the children, it is not their fault. It is the environment which they have found themselves in.”
Prof. Lartey said teachers and parents as well people who can change policies to encourage healthy eating habits among the children.
Listen to Prof Anna Lartey in the attached audio.