Energy Intake, Expenditure and Body Composition of Adolescent Boys and Girls in Public Boarding Secondary Schools in Umuahia, Nigeria

Ukegbu Patricia Ogechi


This was a cross sectional study conducted to determine the energy intake, expenditure and body composition of adolescent boys and girls aged 11-18 yrs in Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria. A multistage sampling technique was used to select a total of 416 subjects  consisting of 208 boys and 208 girls from six boarding secondary schools. The subjects were further stratified into 11-14 and 15-18 years age groups. Energy expenditure was  estimated by factorial method, body composition by anthropometry and energy intake by weighed inventory over a seven day period inclusive of a weekend day. The results showed that in the general group (11-18yrs), the adolescent boys were taller and heavier than the girls. The BMI was normal for both sexes, however, there was significant difference in the BMI of boys (19.9+2.6kg/m2) and girls (23.02+3.9kg/m2) in the 15-18 years age group. Generally, the adolescent girls had significantly higher body fat than boys (p<0.05). Over 80% of food energy was derived from starchy foods for both sexes. The boys had higher energy intake and expenditure than the girls (P<0.05). Energy intake and expenditure were below standards in both sexes. When compared with FAO/UNU/WHO standards the adolescents fell into the sedentary lifestyle group. Energy intake and expenditure were below standards in both sexes. The study showed that both sexes fell short of their energy requirements.

Keywords: Energy intake, expenditure, adolescents, body composition, school.

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