Results from Kenya’s 2014 Report Card on the Physical Activity and Body Weight of Children and Youth

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Lucy-Joy M. Wachira
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Stella K. Muthuri
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Mark S. Tremblay
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Vincent O. Onywera
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Background:

The report card presents available evidence on the physical activity (PA) and body weight status of Kenyan children and youth. It highlights areas where Kenya is succeeding and those in which more action is needed.

Methods:

Comprehensive review and analysis of available data on core indicators for Kenyan children and youth 5−17 years were conducted. The grading system used was based on a set of specific criteria and existing grading schemes from similar report cards in other countries.

Results:

Of the 10 core indicators discussed, body composition was favorable (grade B) while overall PA levels, organized sport participation, and active play were assigned grades of C. Active transportation and sedentary behaviors were also favorable (grade B). Family/peers, school, governmental and nongovernmental strategies were graded C.

Conclusions:

The majority of Kenyan children and youth have healthy body composition levels and acceptable sedentary time, but are not doing as well in attaining the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation on PA. Although Kenya seems to be doing well in most indicators compared with some developed countries, there is a need for action to address existing trends toward unhealthy lifestyles. More robust and representative data for all indicators are required.

Wachira is with Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. Muthuri is with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and the University of Ottawa. Tremblay is with Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya; the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; and the University of Ottawa. Onywera (corresponding author: vonywera@gmail.com) is with Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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