SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.14 número1Prescribing patterns of medicine classified as 'antidepressants' in South African children and adolescentsInformed consent in clinical trials: Perceptions and experiences of a sample of South African researchers índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • En proceso de indezaciónCitado por Google
  • En proceso de indezaciónSimilares en Google


Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

versión On-line ISSN 2071-9736
versión impresa ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.14 no.1 Cape Town  2009




Obesity: A preliminary report of an introductory service-learning course on the role of pharmacy students in health promotion



Sunitha C. SrinivasI; Wendy WrenchI; Catherine W. KarekeziI; Sarah RadloffII; Santy DayaI

IFaculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University, South Africa
IIDepartment of Statistics, Rhodes University, South Africa





Lifestyle diseases such as obesity have been neglected in developing countries partly due to a more urgent focus on infectious diseases in these countries. The incidence of obesity is on the increase in developing countries, with a marked rise in childhood obesity. A health promotion activity employing service-learning principles required final year pharmacy students to prepare a pilot-tested computer-based quiz, using a pre- and post-intervention test design, along with other learning material, for participants at the 2007 Sasol National Festival of Science and Technology (SciFest). Interactive models, posters and information leaflets were used in explaining the prevention and control of obesity to learners. The results showed that the pre-existing knowledge of the participants was good. There was a further improvement after the educational intervention. Activities such as this are important in heightening awareness of obesity in learners as it is likely to reduce the incidence of obesity later in life. Furthermore, the activity also served to increase awareness of the role of pharmacists in the prevention of lifestyle diseases such as obesity.

Keywords: obesity; health promotion; service-learning; pharmacy; chronic conditions


Leefwysesiektes soos obesiteit word verwaarloos in ontwikkelende lande weens die fokus op aansteeklike siektes. Voorvalle van obesiteit het verdriedubbel in ontwikkelende lande, met 'n skerp styging in kinderobesiteit. Die huidige gesondheidsprogram bied 'n indiensopleidingskursus aan, waar finalejaar-aptekerstudente 'n loodsprogram aanbied met behulp van 'n rekenaar vasvraprogram waar 'n voor- en na-toets saam met ander leermateriaal gebruik word vir bywoners van die 2007 Sasol Nasionale Wetenskapfees. Interaktiewe modelle, plakkate en inligtingspamflette is as hulpmiddels gebruik om die voorkoming en beheer van obesiteit aan leerders te illustreer. Die resultate het gewys dat die kennis van die deelnemers goed was. Dit het ná opvoedkundige raadgewing verder verbeter. Projekte soos hierdie is belangrik om leerders van obesiteit bewus te maak, aangesien dit baie moontlik die voorkoms van obesiteit later in deelnemers se lewens kan verminder. Die projek poog verder om bewustheid oor die rol wat aptekers in die voorkoming van leefwysesiektes soos obesiteit kan speel, te verhoog.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




Anderson, G.F. & Chu, E., 2007, 'Expanding priorities -confronting chronic diseases in countries of low income', New England Journal of Medicine 356(3), 209-211.         [ Links ]

Baker, J.L., Olsen, L.W. & Sorensen, T.I.A., 2007, 'Childhood body-mass index and the risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood', The New England Journal of Medicine 357(23), 2329-2337.         [ Links ]

Bourne, L.T., Lambert, E. & Steyn, K., 2002, 'Where does the black population of South Africa stand on the nutrition transition', Public Health Nutrition 5(1A), 157-162.         [ Links ]

Bradshaw, D., Groenewald, P., Laubscher, R., Nannan, N., Nojilana, B., Norman, R. et al, 2003, 'Initial burden of disease estimates for South Africa', South African Medical Journal 93(9), 682-688.         [ Links ]

Bringle, R. & Hatcher, J.A., 1996, 'Implementing service learning in Higher Education', Journal of Higher Education 67(2), 221-239.         [ Links ]

Department of Health, 2006, Cacadu District Health Plan 2007-2008, Department of Health, Republic of South Africa.         [ Links ]

Doak, C.M., Visscher, T.L.S., Renders, C.M. & Seidell, J.C., 2006, 'The prevention of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents: A review of interventions and programmes', Obesity Reviews 7, 111-136.         [ Links ]

Eyler, J. & Giles, D., 1999, Where's the learning in Service-Learning, Jossey Bass, San Francisco.         [ Links ]

Haskins, R., Paxson, C. & Donahue, E., 2006, 'Fighting obesity in the public schools', The Future of Children Spring, 1-7        [ Links ]

Hossain, P., Kawar, B. & El Nahas, M., 2007, 'Obesity and diabetes in the developing world - A growing challenge', The New England Journal of Medicine 356(3), 213-215.         [ Links ]

Karekezi, C.W., Wrench, W., Quinn, L., Belluigi, D. & Srinivas, S.C., 2007, 'Design, implementation and preliminary evaluation of an introductory service-learning elective for Pharmacy students', Education as Change 11(3), 143-156.         [ Links ]

Kruger, S.H., Puoane, T., Senekal, M. & Van der Merwe, M.-T., 2005, 'Obesity in South Africa: Challenges for government and health professionals', Public Health Nutrition 8(5), 491-500.         [ Links ]

Lau, D.C.W., Douketis, J.D., Morrison, K.M., Hramiak, I.M., Sharma, A.M. & Ur, E., 2007, '2006 Canadian clinical practice guidelines on the management and prevention of obesity in adults and children [summary]', Canadian Medical Association Journal 176(8), S1-S13.

MacPhee, M., 2008, 'Global childhood obesity: How to curb an epidemic', Journal of Pediatric Nursing 23(1), 1-4.         [ Links ]

Medical Research Council, 2003, Umthente Uhlaba Usamila: The first South African National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey 2002, Department of Health, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Monyeki, K.D., Van Lenthe, F.J. & Steyn, N.P., 1999, 'Obesity: Does it occur in African children in a rural community in South Africa?', International Journal of Epidemiology 28, 287-292.         [ Links ]

Padgett, J. & Biro, F.M., 2003, 'Different shapes in different cultures: Body dissatisfaction, overweight, and obesity in African-American and Caucasian females', Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology 16, 349- 354.         [ Links ]

Puoane, T., Steyn, K., Bradshaw, D., Laubscher, R., Fourie, J., Lambert, V. et al, 2002, 'Obesity in South Africa: The South African demographic health survey', Obesity Research 10(10), 42, viewed 17 October 2007, from http.//         [ Links ]

SciFest, 2007, viewed 9 February 2009, from         [ Links ]

Shiri, C., Srinivas, S.C., Futter, W.T. & Radloff, S., 2007, 'The role of insight into and beliefs about medicines of hypertensive patients', Cardiovascular Journal of Africa 18(6), 353-357.         [ Links ], 2006, Education in South Africa, viewed 3 November 2008, from         [ Links ]

STATISTICA version 8.1., 2007, computer software, from         [ Links ]

UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2008, Glossary: Pupil-teacher ratio, viewed 3 November 2008, from         [ Links ]

Van der Merwe, M.-T. & Pepper, M.S., 2006, 'Obesity in South Africa', Obesity Reviews 7(4), 315-322.         [ Links ]

Veugelers, P.J. & Fitzgerald, A., 2005, 'Effectiveness of school programs in preventing childhood obesity: A multilevel comparison', Research and Practice 95(3), 432-435.         [ Links ]

Walker, A.R.P., Walker, B.F., Manetsi, B., Tsotesi, N.G. & Walker, A.J., 1990, 'Obesity in black women in Soweto, South Africa: Minimal effects on hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and hyperglycaemia', Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health 110(3), 101-103.         [ Links ]

World Health Organization, 1998, Obesity: Preventing and managing the Global Epidemic - A Report of a WHO Consultation on Obesity, June 3-5, 1997, from         [ Links ]

World Health Organization, 2002, 'Integrated Management of Cardiovascular Risk', in Report of a WHO Meeting, Geneva, July, 9-12, 2002.         [ Links ]

World Health Organization, 2004, Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health, viewed 27 October 2007, from         [ Links ]

World Health Organization, 2006, Obesity and overweight, viewed 11 Novemebr 2008, from         [ Links ]

World Health Organization and Food & Agriculture Organisation, 2003, Diet, Nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases, viewed 18 March 2009, from         [ Links ]



Sunitha C. Srinivas
Faculty of Pharmacy
Rhodes University
Grahamstown, 6140
South Africa

Received: 12 Dec. 2008
Accepted: 18 Mar. 2009
Published: 20 July 2009

Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons