Factors Contributing to Obesity among Adolescents

Sunita Poudel *

School of Health and Allied Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara, Nepal.

Laxmi Pradhan

The Central Department of Home Science, T.U, Bagbazar, Kathmandu, Nepal.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: Obesity is a medical condition characterized by an abnormal fat accumulation which is detrimental to health. The role of infectious disease is diminishing and that of non-communicable disease are increasing rapidly in developing countries like Nepal. Adolescents are vulnerable in terms of nutrition and the obese adolescent turns into an obese adult which leads to reduction of productivity of nation.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence and knowledge of overweight/obesity among adolescents and evaluate the associated factors in Bharatpur Metropolitan Municipality of Chitwan district. 

Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted where two secondary schools of Bharatpur Metropolitan Municipality were randomly selected by lottery method. All the students of grade 9 and 10 of those two schools were included in the study (Sample size: 304). The question was self-administered and; Body Mass index (BMI) status and Central obesity was calculated. Data was analyzed by using IBM SPSS version 26.  

Major Findings: In total, 187 (61.5%) of the respondents had knowledge about obesity, 251 (82.6%) had junk foods eating habits, 28 (9.2%) did not involve in any physical exercise and 50.3% of the respondents spent their leisure time playing/watching gadgets. The prevalence rate of overweight and obesity was 10.2% and 4.9% respectively. The study confirms 3 (1.9%) of boys and 12 (8.1%) of girls were central obese. Further, the mean BMI score was 18.57 kg/m2 (Mean ± SD: 18.57±2.56) and mean waist circumference for boys and girls was 72.25 cm and 69.59 cm respectively. The study shows significant association (p value<0.05) between father’s occupation and mother’s education with types of snacks provided. Furthermore, respondent’s sex, meal frequency and gadgets at home show statistically significant association (p value<0.05) with nutritional status of respondents. 

Conclusion: The study suggests that preventive approaches should be followed from the very beginning to avoid the obesity and health problem. The food preferences of respondents, foods they consumed, lack of physical exercise, preference of junk foods, parental history of obesity, use of gadgets and online games would lead to serious health effects in the future.

Keywords: Obesity, overweight, adolescents, nutritional habits, BMI

How to Cite

Poudel , S., & Pradhan , L. (2023). Factors Contributing to Obesity among Adolescents. Asian Journal of Food Research and Nutrition, 2(4), 287–297. Retrieved from https://journalajfrn.com/index.php/AJFRN/article/view/52


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