Child Obesity Determinants and Management: An Emerging Pandemic in the City of Gaborone, Botswana.
World Health Organization estimated “overweight and obesity to cause 3, 4 million deaths, 3.9% of quality years lost and 3.8% of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide”. These alarming figures are a growing concern of adult Obesity emanating from effects of the child Obesity, which has reached pandemic status globally in the developed world and gradually creeping in regionally and nationally at an alarming rate, becoming a major public health issue. The past three years has shown the greatest increase of recorded child obesity cases across Africa and Botswana being in the top three. This alarming increase is worrisome looking at the fact that obese children eventually lead to obese Adults while it is completely avoidable and preventable. This study investigates child obesity based on the following objectives. To identify Socio economic factors that influences Child Obesity. To determine effects of Child Obesity. To establish Parents role is controlling Obesity Gaborone. To analyze relevant interventions that is already in place. The literature of this study was reviewed to determine the extent of child obesity in Botswana and current implemented health interventions to curb the problem. A descriptive cross sectional study design was initiated to describe current obesity trends, buying behaviors, child obesity perceptions, and to analyse current implemented measures to curb child obesity. The major concerns of child obesity lies in mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and Low self-esteem, affects quality of life and attributed to social problems such as bullying and stigma with high incidences of cardiovascular diseases, mental clinical depression, physical injuries and deterioration in educational performance. Ethical issues were highly considered as obesity is a sensitive issue and a signed consent was sought from all participating parents before commencing the research. The study has established that common cause of obesity amongst under 5 children of Gaborone top being food as 80% of respondents agreed food is the main contributor while 55% selected inactivity. Government has no strategies in place to regulate food entering Botswana and the nutritional value of food given to children. The study established that maternal employment; lifestyle, food, buying and eating habits are the number one contributors of child obesity. Lack of outdoor facilities and lack of governmental food regulations also contribute to high prevalence of child obesity in the city of Gaborone. There’s need to sensitize people about the high prevalence of child obesity and show them the dangerous of obesity from infant stages to adulthood. Physical education should be more of practical than theory. Play time should be included in the curriculum of children to encourage the physical aspect of the children as most of them are not physical at home.