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Adolescents´ food habits and nutritional status in urban and rural areas in Cameroon, Africa
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1773-6896
Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé 1, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
2005 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition/Næringsforskning, ISSN 1102-6480, E-ISSN 1651-2359, Vol. 49, no 4, 151-158 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Food intake in Cameroon is based on three meals daily. The diet in rural areas is based on traditional staple foods, while that of the urban population incorporates more modern foods. The health and nutrition of adolescents is important as their eating behaviour and nutrition will affect their future health.

Objective: To describe and compare food habits and nutritional status of adolescents in Cameroon.

Design: A cross-sectional study using an unquantified food frequency questionnaire and anthropometric data, in urban and rural areas. Fifty-two adolescents, 12_/15 years old, were selected from schools.

Results : Frequencies of consumption of meat, vegetables, cereals, milk products and junk food were significantly higher in urban than in rural adolescents (11.8 vs 4.5, 9.5 vs 3.9, 16.5 vs 11.9, 5.7 vs 0.8, 24.2 vs 8.7, respectively). The frequency of in-between meals was higher in urban than in rural adolescents (4.9 vs 0.9, respectively). Arm muscle area (AMA, mm2) and waist/hip ratio were significantly higher in rural than in urban adolescents (3554 vs 2802 and 0.82 vs 0.79, respectively). Body mass index (BMI, kg m_2) was higher in rural than urban adolescents, although not significant (20.6 vs 19.4, respectively). There was a positive significant correlation between BMI and AMA in urban and rural areas (r_/0.67 and r_/0. 72, respectively).

Conclusions: Despite a lower frequency of food consumption, rural adolescents had higher AMA and waist/hip ratio than urban adolescents. Less junk food and more traditional food consumption, more manualactivities and walking in rural adolescents could explain these results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 49, no 4, 151-158 p.
Keyword [en]
adolescents, arm muscle area, body mass inex, Cameroon, food frequency questionnaire
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30840DOI: 10.1080/11026480500437554OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-30840DiVA: diva2:287659
Available from: 2010-01-19 Created: 2010-01-19 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Socioeconomic and sex differences in adolescents’ dietary intake, anthropometry and physical activity in Cameroon, Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Socioeconomic and sex differences in adolescents’ dietary intake, anthropometry and physical activity in Cameroon, Africa
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: People in Cameroon are experiencing a dietary transition characterized by changing from traditional food habits to increased intake of highly processed sweet and fatty food. The rapid change in food pattern combined with an increased sedentary lifestyle has resulted in a rather high prevalence of obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Nutritional intake is important during adolescence for growth spurt, health, cognitive development and performance in school.

Objective: The aim of this thesis was to assess dietary intake, anthropometry and physical activity of adolescents according to sex and socioeconomic status (SES) and to investigate food perceptions of adolescents living in urban and rural areas of Cameroon.

Methods: Girls and boys, 12-16 years of age, were randomly selected from schools in urban and rural areas. Food frequency questionnaire, 24-hour dietary and physical activity recalls, anthropometric measurements, qualitative interviews and a background questionnaire were used for data collection.

Results: The proportion of overweight was three times higher in girls (14%) compared to boys (4%). Stunting and underweight were more common among boys (15% and 6%) than girls (5% and 1%). The prevalence of stunting was two times higher among the urban adolescents with low SES (12%) compared to those with high SES (5%). The rural adolescents had the highest proportion of stunting but more muscle that the urban adolescents. The rural adolescents ate in order to live and to maintain health. Urban adolescents with low SES ate in order to maintain health, while those with high SES ate for pleasure. More than 30% of the adolescents skipped breakfast in the urban area. Urban adolescents with high SES and girls reported a more frequent consumption of in-between meals and most food groups compared to the rural adolescents, boys and those with low SES. Over 55% of the adolescents had a protein intake below 10% of the energy (E%). Twenty-six percent of the adolescents had fat intake below 25 E%, and 25% had fat intake above 35 E%. A large proportion of the adolescents had an intake of micronutrients below the estimated average recommendation. Boys and the adolescents with low SES reported a higher energy expenditure and physical activity level than girls and the adolescents with high SES, respectively. Both under- and over-reporting of energy intake were common among the adolescents.

Conclusions: The present study showed that nutrient inadequacy, stunting, underweight, as well as overweight and obesity were common among the adolescents in Cameroon. Therefore an intervention program targeting both under- and overnutrition among school adolescents is needed. Sex and socioeconomic differences also need to be considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå university, 2010. 64 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1327
Keyword
Adolescents, socioeconomic, energy intake, nutrient intake, physical activity, under-overweight, Cameroon
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Nutrition
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30773 (URN)978-91-7264-942-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-02-05, Allmänmedicin, Floor 9A,135, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-01-21 Created: 2010-01-15 Last updated: 2015-10-12Bibliographically approved

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