HomeHarvestvol. 16 no. 1 (2020)

ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN IN BALIWAG, BULACAN: A MODEL OF PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY AND NUTRITION PROGRAMS

Francia R Santos, DBA | Elizabeth Roxas | Elenita A. Clemente | Cecilia C. Yasa | Brenda B Balaga

 

Abstract:

The rising prevalence and trends of overweight and obesity cases in children had been reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) globally. This was also confirmed by the United Nations’ (UN) report on the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among children worldwide. WHO added that even in a developing country like the Philippines, the increasing trends in overweight and obesity cases among school children were also prevalent. What is critical in those reports is that childhood obesity had been associated with serious health problems and other illnesses. Thus, a three-year longitudinal data gathered from public elementary schools was utilized to investigate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Baliwag, Bulacan. Furthermore, the method involves collaborative school-based survey among the four select public schools with severe cases of overweight or obesity in the Municipality of Baliuag. Risk exposures to contributory factors among school children with obesity cases in public schools had been analyzed using sequential approach. Findings of this study are backed by the literature that dietary behaviors and physical activities explain the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among school children. Moreover, this study reveals that there are no significant differences found in the dietary behaviors and physical activities of children with obesity. This is evidenced by the uniformity of findings which showed that obese children were exposed to foods high in carbohydrates, sugar and fats that are available in their home, school, and favorite fast food environment. Implications of the study are imperative for effective sustainable public health policy and nutrition programs of the local government unit.