Elizabeth Kanayo Ngwu, *Chinonso Victoria Obayi, Aloysius Nwabugo Maduforo, Cyril
Onyinyechukwu Anoshirike, and Chioma Vivian Anidi
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria Nsukka
*Corresponding author: [email protected]
Background: Adolescence is marked by considerable existential conflicts as well as exposure and vulnerability to
substance abuse. Poor lifestyle behaviour of adolescents today constitute risk factor for future adult’s health status.
The study assessed the anthropometric status and lifestyle behaviour of in-school adolescents of rural and urban
communities in Nsukka local government area, Enugu state.
Methods: A cross sectional study of 375 in-school adolescents randomly selected from urban and rural secondary
schools in Nsukka local government area was done using a multistage sampling technique. Structured and validated
questionnaire were administered to the subjects to elicit information on the socio-demographic, socio-economic and
lifestyle behavior characteristics. Anthropometric assessment was carried out using standard methods and the data
obtained was categorized using World Health Organization Z- scores standard. Data obtained from the questionnaire
was analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 21. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the data and inferential
statistics (t-test and chi-square) was used to compare associations. Significance level was set at p<0.05.
Results: More than half (69.3%) of the respondents were females, 48.5% of the respondents were in the middle
adolescence (14 -16 years). The prevalence rates of underweight and obesity among the adolescents in the urban areas
are 26.9% and 0.8% respectively while in the rural areas they are 22.1% and 1.2% respectively. Proportion that
participated in exercise were 85.7% and 80.8% in the rural and urban areas respectively but more of those in the urban areas took part in vigorous intensity exercises (65.4%). Smoking pattern showed that 0.8% and 1.2% in the urban and rural areas indulged in cigarette smoking and only rural adolescents admitted to the smoking of Indian hemp (3.7%).
Alcohol intake was also significantly higher in the rural adolescents (31.4%) when compared to their urban
counterparts (12.3%). There exists significant difference (p=0.000) for alcohol intake between the urban and rural
adolescents, frequency of physical activity between the rural and urban adolescents, education level of sponsors in
both rural and urban areas. There also exists a significance difference (p=0.003) for the duration of physical activities.
Conclusion: This study revealed prevalence of double burden of malnutrition (overweight/obesity and underweight),
poor lifestyle behavior among adolescents in urban and rural secondary schools in Nsukka.
Keywords: Lifestyle, Anthropometry Assessment, Adolescents