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PROJECT TOPIC- EATING PRACTICE, NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND BODY WEIGHT OF HOME ECONOMICS STUDENTS IN EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY

PROJECT TOPIC- EATING PRACTICE, NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND BODY WEIGHT OF HOME ECONOMICS STUDENTS IN EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

            Overweight and obesity are serious health problems. The term overweight means excessive body weight in relation to height, whereas obesity indicates excessive fat accumulation in the adipose tissue (Laquatra, 2012). However the two terms are often used synonymously. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has been escalating rapidly worldwide. Evidence suggests that the prevalence of overweight and obesity has reached “global epidemic” World Health Organization

(WHO, 2012).

It is now estimated that over one billion adults worldwide are overweight, 300 million of whom are clinically obesed World Health Organization (WHO, 2011).

According to (WHO, 2009), the number of overweight people was predicted to approach 1.5 billion, by the year 2015. Studies have shown that the health risk are associated with not only excessive body fat but also relatively small increase in body weight (Laquatra, 2012).

An obesity epidemic is not restricted to developed countries alone. Countries that are experiencing economic transition, such as China, Brazil and South Africa are also showing an increase in overweight/obesed persons as their economic condition changes (Popkin, 2011).

However, there is an enormous variation in the prevalence of overweight and obesity within and between the developed and developing countries. For instance, in Europe and the United States, 10 to 25% of the population is obesed (Ferro-Luzzi and Puska, 2011).

According to (WHO, 2012), between 6% and 8% of the population in Nigeria are obese, while over 6% men and 13% women in Brazil are obese. The Department of Health South Africa (DOH, 2012) 9.3% and 30.1% men and women respectively are obesed. In Nigerian study also more women (56%) than men (29%) were overweight. (World Data Atlas, 2014)

Nutrition knowledge is believed to play an important role in promoting healthier feeding practices, and consequently, maintaining appropriate body weight (Kruger and Puoane, 2010).

According to Grafova, (2011), people Who are aware of the connection between poor nutrition and certain health conditions are more likely to follow a balanced diet and avoid excessive weight gain. This means that nutrition knowledge can be a good strategy to employ in the reduction and control of the high prevalence of obesity.

Kolodinsky and Goldstein,(2011) found increased knowledge of dietary guidelines to be positively related to more healthy feeding practices among university students. The author concluded that healthy feeders have a higher nutrition knowledge leading to good food choices which can promote reduction and maintenance of weight. However, studies conducted by Thakur, (2010) found no significant differences between obese and non-obese people with respect to their knowledge concerning nutrition. This may mean that most people do not always practice what they know.

An inadequate level of physical activity or sedentary lifestyle is directly associated with weight gain in human beings. Physical activity accounts for 10 to 30% of daily energy expenditure. For this reason, a person experiencing a reduction in physical activity due to a change in labor practices or forms of transportation may spend less energy. This decline in energy expenditure, if not accompanied by a reduction in energy intake may result in weight gain and potential obesity. Decreased physical activity due to increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of works, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization (Klumbiene and Petkeviene, 2011), all contribute to positive energy expenditure which contributes to overweight and obesity

Indicators of body weight status are determinants of overweight and obesity. These indicators include body mass index (BMI) or Quetelet Index, waist circumference (WC) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) Laquatra, (2011).

According to World Health Organization, (WHO, 2012) BMI is commonly used because it correlates well with body fatness and degree of disease.

As a general guideline, overweight and obesity are defined, respectively, as BMI values exceeding 25kg/m2 and 30kg/m2 (Whitney and Pinna, 2010).

BMI, however, does not give information about the total fat or how fat is distributed in the body. Fat distribution is measured by WC and WHR (Hammond, 2010).

PROJECT TOPIC- EATING PRACTICE, NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND BODY WEIGHT OF HOME ECONOMICS STUDENTS IN EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY

Statement of the Problem

            The high prevalence of overweight and obesity represents a serious public health concern as recognize risk factors for chronic conditions and diseases. Many health science professionals may be overweight or obese due to socio-demographic factors, feeding practices and a lack of nutrition knowledge. This situation places them at significant risk for numerous lifestyle related chronic conditions and diseases such as heart and respiratory diseases, diabetes and various forms of cancer. A further problem is that home economics students are future nutritionist or nutritional professionals, who will eventually support and give recommendations on nutritional feeding practices. It is therefore important that they are aware of ways to ensure weight gain prevention and control in order to provide a good service to the public.

Prevention and control of overweight and obesity, particularly in university among home economic students is a priority since this group represents future nutritional guide providers who may not provide adequate information to the public because of their weight. Colleges and universities can be an ideal setting for prevention intervention programs.

 

Purpose of the Study

            The main purpose of this research is to evaluate and investigate on the eating practice, nutritional knowledge and body weight of home economics students in Ebonyi State University. Specifically the study tens to:

  • Ø Access the consumption pattern of home economics students in Ebonyi State University.
  • Ø Access the knowledge of Home Economics students in Ebonyi State University about nutrients and their functions.
  • Ø Access the body weight of home economic students in Ebonyi State University.

 

Significance of the Study

            The study on the feeding practices, nutrition knowledge and body weight of Home Economics Students of Ebonyi State University is significant and also very important.

For this knowledge; it will enable the students to control their body weight in order not to accommodate obesity. It will as well help them to improve on their food intake by considering the nutritional content of food intake, knowing the effects of eating in –between meals. This study is also very important because it will enable students to improve on their eating practices and nutritional knowledge. The government would also benefit in that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will no longer be charged with much responsibilities of treating ailment caused by eating practices, poor nutritional knowledge and obesity which is a product of their body weight. In general it will help the students in making good research by consulting the school library for assignment purposes and other academic work as well.

 

Scope of the Study 

PROJECT TOPIC- EATING PRACTICE, NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND BODY WEIGHT OF HOME ECONOMICS STUDENTS IN EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY

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