Why More Students In Private Schools Are Obese.
New research reveals that private school students are more likely to be obese and experience weight-related problems compared to those in the public.
The use of school buses for transportation and fewer physical education (PE) lessons are two additional factors contributing to obesity, particularly among students in private schools.
Private schools prioritize core academic subjects over physical education in order to perform better on national exams, according to a study done in Kakamega County last year by researchers from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust).
Additionally, most private schools lack playgrounds.
However, students who walk to and from public schools are less likely to be obese.
In addition to playing video games at home, the researchers discovered that students from private schools watched more TV than their counterparts from public schools.
Meals played a significant role in obesity as well. Overweight and obese students consumed more meals daily, which included foods high in fat and carbohydrates like pizza, chips, sausages, and burgers.
The more meals consumed in a day, the higher the levels of obesity, and the more carbohydrates and fats consumed, the higher the levels of obesity.
The researchers along with Dr. Issah Kweyu, Prof. Edwin Wamukoya from the department of Health Promotion and Sports Science, and Dr. Maximilla Wanzala from the department of Public Health, Micky Olutende.
Olutende said that because most schools had eliminated physical education from their timetables, students consume a lot of food in a day, especially fat and sugars, but do not burn off the energy through exercise and physical activity. Obesity is the result of the body storing excess energy as fat.
According to Dr. Kweyu, students in private schools watch more TV because their parents have employed house help while they watch TV or play computer games while they snack. Due to their way of life, they eventually become overweight or obese.
Dr. Wanzala observed that students attending private schools had more access to meals at home and at school.
According to the researchers, obesity is becoming more common among students in Kakamega, which puts them at risk for developing chronic illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing issues, hypertension, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
A few people were also at risk for pre-diabetes, which is when blood sugar levels are elevated but the disease has not yet manifested.
In addition, the study shows that Type 2 diabetes was more common among obese students than other chronic illnesses.
Chronic type 2 diabetes impairs the body’s ability to process blood sugar (glucose).
Increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision are signs that the body is either not producing enough insulin or resisting it.
The 15th International Multi-disciplinary Virtual Conference, which took place last week at Mmust, announced the results.
In both private and public schools, the study sought to identify the prevalence and risk factors for obesity among school-age children. The Journal of Advances in Sports and Physical Education published the findings.