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Title: Prevalence, perceptions and potential interventions : a mixed methods investigation of childhood overweight and obesity among a pro-poor cohort in Peru
Author: Preston, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 768X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Over the past 20 years there has been a clear shift in Peru’s mortality profile towards non-communicable diseases. As part of this transition, childhood overweight and obesity (O&O) has become a growing public health concern. In order to address this challenge, context-specific information is needed concerning prevalence, associated factors and culturally appropriate interventions. To this end, I conducted a mixed methods study using a socio-ecological framework to investigate childhood overweight and obesity in Peru. This study found a prevalence of 19.2% overweight and 8.6% obesity among children aged seven to eight in a pro-poor cohort in Peru. Factors associated with being overweight in this cohort included: a high socioeconomic status, living in metropolitan Lima, an O&O mother, being male and being an only child or having only one sibling. The quantitative analysis highlighted the prevalence in O&O in this population and revealed a number of relationships explored in more depth via interviews and focus group discussions. The qualitative component of this research explored these associations amongst a sub-sample of children, parents and teachers in three distinct geographical regions in Peru. My qualitative research showed that parents, teachers and children are aware of the health implications of childhood overweight and obesity and that they have a sophisticated understanding of the many factors that influence its aetiology. Participants also had many suggestions for ways to address this issue in their community. This information was complemented by a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence of childhood O&O interventions that took place in Latin America published between 1990 and 2011. A combination of diet, physical activity and pharmaceutical strategies have shown modest effect on BMI reduction in O&O children, but more evidence is needed for effective population-level prevention strategies. The findings highlight the need for comprehensive, multi-level interventions. Notable intervention components include: kiosco reform, junk food taxation, creation of recreational space and enhancement of school-based physical activity programmes. To accomplish this, communities need to be mobilised and work together with school administration, municipal and national government.
Supervisor: Plugge, Emma; Ariana, Proochista Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Public Health ; Medical Sciences ; Childhood Overweight and Obesity ; Peru ; Prevalence ; Risk Factors ; Interventions ; Perceptions ; Qualitative Research