Leeds Beckett University
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Family Involvement in Diet and Exercise Interventions among Children in Nigeria

posted on 2023-01-25, 12:22 authored by Oritseweyinmi OrighoyeOritseweyinmi Orighoye

Childhood malnutrition is a major public health concern with serious implications. This thesis comprising of three studies (i) A mixed methods systematic-type review on studies in developing countries focused on parental influences on optimal diet, physical activity, and body mass index of children. (Study 1). (ii) Exploring views of children, parents, and other stakeholders on the influences on potential diet and physical activity interventions among children in Nigeria (Study 2). (iii) Evaluating potential intervention components and outcome measures for promoting a healthy diet, physical activity and improved water, sanitation, and hygiene practices (WASH) among children in Nigeria (Study 3). 

Study 1 findings showed increasing parental associations of income, educational level, and socioeconomic status was associated with less favourable BMI status among children. Peer influence facilitated and parental perceptions of weight, household level, and a limited income were barriers to optimal diet, physical activity, and BMI in children. The review also indicated a lack of intervention and qualitative studies conducted in Nigeria, and a need to address this integrating a focus on undernutrition and WASH. 

Studies 2 and 3 took place in a suburban multi-ethnic community in Lagos, Nigeria from 2018- 2020. Study 2 involved parents, school children, teachers, school heads, community leaders, health workers, and civil servants in the health and education sector recruited using purposive and theoretical sampling strategies. Three phases of qualitative semi structured interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with 32 adults and 16 children. Participants voiced active partnership between communities and schools as essential to addressing barriers to diet and physical activity interventions. Activities for engaging families in interventions such as health literacy teaching for parents in local dialects were suggested. Mixed methods were used in Study 3. 

Acceptability and feasibility of 12 school and community intervention sessions and the Global School‐based Student Health Survey (diet, PA, hygiene knowledge/practices questionnaire and body mass index (BMI) measures) were evaluated. Participants included 130 children aged 8-15 yrs. Three children and their parents took part in qualitative interviews. All 12 planned intervention sessions were delivered with 100% participation, and approval by parents and children. Timing of sessions, integration of activities into school curriculum were potential barriers to sustainability. Researcher capacity and school timing impacted on the completion of the survey and measurements (n=59; 45% response rate); however, there were no missing questionnaire data.


National Institute for Health Research


Qualification name

  • PhD


Maynard, Maria ; Apekey, Tanefa

Awarding Institution

Leeds Beckett University

Completion Date


Qualification level

  • Doctoral


  • eng


Leeds Beckett University

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