Determination Of Nutritional Status Of Children Within The Ages Of Four (4) To Ten (10) Years Using Their Body Mass Index (BMI)

Project and Seminar Material for Public Health

Determination Of Nutritional Status Of Children Within The Ages Of Four (4) To Ten (10) Years Using Their Body Mass Index (BMI)


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of adiposity and has been used in many countries for assessment of overweight and obesity. The prevalence of obesity in children is increasing and is recognized as risk indicator of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. The study aimed was to document the Body Mass Index of school children aged 4-10 years.

The study also determined the prevalence of overweight and obesity. This is a descriptive study of obesity prevalence in Nigerian Children. The weight and heights of the sampled children were measured and their BMI was calculated as weight/height (m2). Overweight and obese children were identified using charts from pooled internationally accepted data age and sex specific cut -off points for BMI. The BMI ranged from 09.25kg / m2.to28.20Kg/m2 with a mean BMI of 15.10 kg/m2. The mean BMI for males was 15.64 and the females 14.56. The prevalence of Underweight, Healthy weight, overweight and obesity were 16.33, 64.34%, 12% and 7.33% respectively. More males were significantly overweight than females. Prevalence of overweight and obesity were highest in the highest socioeconomic class.

Most children had BMI within the normal range. The prevalence of overweight and obesity though predominantly low should be taken seriously, especially as it appears to be associated with improving socioeconomic status. School health education (physical activity and nutritional education) is recommended as preventive measures.

Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Scope of Study
  • 1.4 The Significance of The Study
  • 1.5 Aims and Objective

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Body Mass Index
  • 2.2 Bmi Percentile
  • 2.3 Body Mass Index Z-Scores
  • 2.4 Considerations For Research
  • 2.5 Implications For Longitudinal Research Into Adulthood
  • 2.6 Considerations For Public Health Surveillance
  • 2.7 Clinical Considerations
  • 2.8 Applications of Bmi
  • 2.8.1 Statistical Device
  • 2.8.2 Clinical Practice
  • 2.8.3 Medical Underwriting
  • 2.9 Limitations and Shortcomings

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Data Collection
  • 3.2 Data Presentation
  • 3.2.1 Height And Masses Of 150 Boys Within The Ages Of 4 To 10 Years
  • 3.2.2 Height And Masses Of 150 Girls Within The Ages Of 4 To Ten Years
  • 3.3 Method Of Data Analysis
  • 3.3.1 Bmi Formular/Calculator Method
  • 3.3.2 Percentile Chart

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Analysis using Formular/Calculator
  • 4.2 Table Showing The Bmi of 150 Male Children Calculated Using The Formula/Bmi Calculator Method
  • 4.3 Table Showing The Bmi of 150 Female Children Calculated Using The Formula/Bmi Calculator Method
  • 4.4.Percentile Chart
  • 4.4.0 Bmi Percentile Charts For Boys And Girls
  • 4.4.1 Table Showing The Health Status of 150 Male Children,Gotten From The Bmi Percentile Chart
  • 4.5 Table Showing The Bmi of 150 Male Children Calculated Using The Formula/Bmi Calculator Method

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.1 Background of Study

The global epidemic of overweight and obesity – “globosity” – is rapidly becoming a major public health problem in many parts of the world. Paradoxically coexisting with under nutrition in developing countries. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of adiposity and has been used in many countries for assessment of overweight and obesity. the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity is associated with many diet-related chronic diseases including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension and certain cancers.

In order to maintain a regular and constant body weight standard, the knowledge of body mass index was introduced by the world health organization to enable the entire public have an inside into proper diet regulation. But for the interest of this study, emphasis will be laid only on the body mass index of children within the age of four to ten years old.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a child’s weight and height. BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness for most children and teens. It does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat, such as underwater weighing and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).1 BMI can be considered an alternative for direct measures of body fat. Additionally, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems. For adults it is usually age independent and may not absolutely depend on sex of the individual, but for children and teens, BMI is age- and sex-specific and is often referred to as BMI-for-age.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The problem of this research work is to ascertain the degree of precision in using the analysis of body mass index in determining the nutritional status of children within the age of four to ten years.

Secondly to assemble information of sufficient quality and quantity which will help in the provision of basis for making accurate analysis and sound decision on the health of children within the age of four years to ten years old using their body mass index.

1.3 Scope of Study

This project work comprises of the principles which accomplishes the processes 0f determining the nutritional status of children within the ages of four to ten years using their body mass index, it also covers the exploitations of some statistical models which helps in the proper estimations of child’s nutritional condition, using a world known standard for health status determination.

1.4 The Significance of the Study

One of the major significance of this study is that the knowledge of body mass index will raise parental consciousness on the quality of diet being given to their children, in other for them to maintain healthy body weight.

Secondly, through this research work, necessary dietary recommendations to the authorities of most children controlling institutions will help in the reduction of overweight, obesity and under-weight among children.

1.5 Aims and Objective

Body mass index have been in use over the years by most medical and socioeconomic field of endeavour, but proper analysis together with some statistical importance about BMI have been of limited consideration. The aim of this project is to analyze the health importance of continually measuring the BMI of children.

Secondly, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can help you prevent and control many diseases and conditions. If you are overweight or obese, you are at higher risk of developing serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers. That is why maintaining a healthy weight is so important:

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary Of Findings

Considering the importance of health check status together with measures needed to properly check the nutritional proficiency of diets being consumed by most children within the ages of four to ten year, using the BMI analysis the following was obtained;

Body mass index analysis as a means of nutritional status determination for children between the ages of four to ten years might not be the most reliable means of nutritional status determination, but has a high degree of precision in analysis of health status determination.

Among other means of nutritional status determination in children, the BMI analysis was discovered as being the most economical and fastest means of health status determination.

The method of calculating the BMI is dependent on age-sex specification; for children it is usually calculated using the percentile chart, with specifications that children who’s BMI value is below the 5th percentile are under weight, those in between the 5th to 85 percentile have a normal weight, and those in between 85th to 95th percentile are overweight, while those above 95th percentile are obsessed. While for adults a specific standard is being used as yard stick for health status classification and it is independent on age or sex.

5.1 Conclusion

Height and weight are simple and ubiquitous measures and have historically formed the basis of growth monitoring. Body mass index, which shows reasonably good correlations with more direct measures of adiposity and consistent linkages with adult overweight- and obesity-related co-morbidities, will likely continue to be the main measure of weight status in children. It is doubtful that we will gain much by further refinement of algebraic manipulations of height and weight. A more direct measure that reflects adiposity would be preferable, but the current alternatives are poorly suited to clinical or population research applications. Bioelectric impedance, arguably the most appealing proxy measure of adiposity for field use, is sensitive to hydration status, may vary by ethnicity, and requires instrument- and population-specific equations.

Addition of an anthropometric indicator of central adiposity has been suggested. Several reference standards for waist circumference and waist–hip ratio have been developed and evidence is accumulating to suggest that these measures in combination with BMI may have utility for identification of those children whose high BMI has greatest health impact. The waist height ratio also shows some promise as useful measure of size-adjusted central adiposity. The addition of circumferential measures may help to address the major weakness of BMI: its inability to distinguish between elevated adiposity and elevated lean mass. From a public health perspective, the observation that from 1987 to 1997 waist circumferences of British children increased more than BMI suggests that surveillance by BMI alone may obscure important changes in body composition at the population level. Prospective studies that demonstrate that the addition of an indirect measure of central adiposity is more tightly linked to obesity-related health consequences than use of BMI-for-age alone would provide some of the justification needed to add further complexity to research applications and to weight-screening recommendations. As the evidence accrues, BMI-for-age continues to offer a valid and readily available measure for use in clinical and population-based applications. Widespread adoption of BMI-for-age in all three sectors will depend upon continued efforts to train individuals in the appropriate use of national and international growth references.

5.2 Recommendations

With respect to the fact that BMI are of great significance in the determination of child’s/adult nutritional status, I recommend that more research works should be done on the analysis of the BMI calculation parameters through the collaboration of the government, world health organization (WHO), and other non-governmental health organizations in other to control the limitations associated with the BMI approach as a means of health status determination.

Since the body mass index operation those not require any medical professional techniques, I recommend that parents and guardians should always adopt this means in continually examining the status of their kids, and this will help them in rationalizing their children daily diet.

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