Feeding habit refers to the way a person or group eats, considered in terms of “What” type of food are eaten, in “What” quantities and “When”. Feeding habit vary from person to person according to  culture, availability, age, state of health, religion, disease predisposition, type of work, climate and amount of daily physical and mental activities1

Sedentary behaviour is defined as a group of behaviour that occur while sitting or lying down and that require very low energy expenditure. The low energy requirements distinguish sedentary behaviours from other activities that also occur while sitting down, but which require greater effort2

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. One of the measures of overweight and obesity is Body mass index. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight for height, it is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2)3 Adolescence is defined as a transition period of human growth and development that occurs after childhood and before adulthood from 10-19 years4.It represents one of the critical transitions in the life span and is characterized by tremendous pace in growth and development that is second only on that of infancy. Key development experiences besides physical and sexual maturation include movement towards social and economic independence and development of identity4

A BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight while a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity and BMI less than 18.50 is underweight. BMI provides the most useful population level measure of overweight and obesity. It is the same for both sexes and adults for all ages3


Feeding habit and sedentary behaviour are known to be strongly associated with overweight and obesity. Obesity is becoming a worldwide problem affecting all levels of society and is thus being described as a global epidemic 5affecting both developed and non developing countries. Eating habits in addition to environmental differentials represents the most dominant determinant in increasing the tendency of overweight and obesity among children8

Sedentary behaviour is known to be associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and death from all causes later in adult life. Excess weight in childhood and adolescence has been associated with adverse short term effects like laziness, poor academic performance manifesting as excess sleep and long term health effects. These effects include increased risk of cardiovascular disease and factors related to metabolic abnormalities such as dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance and an increased likelihood of being obese as an adult9.


This work will create awareness and add to the body of knowledge pertaining to adolescent which is the age group where these habits that predispose to overweight and obesity are formed. Our finding will help in educating adolescents on how to adopt good feeding habits such as encouraging more of healthy snacking like eating vegetables, fruits and avoid eating late at night, skipping breakfast and eating less unhealthy snacks and beverages. It will also encourage the school management on the need to plan a food timetable encompassing all classes of food for adolescents living in dormitories. These will in turn serve as role model for their parents, family members and friends at home. Even in future, when they become parents, it will also help them give their children the right nutrition in the right proportions and also pass on the knowledge to them.

The findings will help educating the students on the importance of exercise, on the need to provide facilities and equipment for physical activities and on the need to employ well trained physical education teachers and allocate special days for these activities.

Also, in this era of health sector reforms, our study findings will help policy makers in determining measures that can be taken to make school health programs, adolescent friendly clinic and adolescent health more effective.

Finally, these will create public awareness of overweight and obesity, their risk factors and complications associated with them faulting the public notion in our society that overweight obesity is an indication of healthy living and affluence.



To determine the association between feeding habit, sedentary behaviour and overweight cum obesity among secondary school adolescents in Owerri Imo state Nigeria.


  1. To assess the feeding habits among secondary school adolescents in Owerri Nigeria
  2. To assess the level of physical activities among secondary school adolescents in Owerri Nigeria.
  3. To determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among secondary school adolescents in Owerri Nigeria.
  4. To determine the relationship between feeding habit and overweight cum obesity among secondary school adolescents in Owerri Imo state.
  5. To determine the relationship between sedentary behaviour and overweight cum obesity among secondary school adolescents in Owerri imo state.