Assessment Of Nutritional Status Of Under Five Years Children In Mayodassa Community, Jalingo L.G.A, Taraba State
This study was carried out on the assessment of nutritional status of under five years children in Mayodassa community, Jalingo LGA, Taraba state. assess the nutritional status of primary school children under-5 years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state Nigeria. In order to establish and provide baseline information on the health and nutritional status of the target group. The study was carried out using anthropometric measurements (weights and heights) which were used in determining height-for-age, weight-for-age and weight-for-height, these indices were compared with WHO standards. Dietary assessment was carried out using food frequency questionnaire and 24-hour dietary recall obtained from their mothers. A semi-structured pretested questionnaire was used in gathering information on the socio-demographic and economic characteristics of mothers. Data was analyzed using SPSS version21.0. The study revealed that the children under five years were more severely malnourished than any other age, although the nutritional status improved with increased age. There was no difference in gender. 19.1, 17.9 and 18.9% were stunted, underweight and wasted respectively. In terms of dietary diversity score, majority of the children (45.7%) had low diversity (<4 food groups), only 29.6% accessed high dietary diversity score (6-8 food groups). Cereals, roots and tuber were the most popular food group consumed by children (31.2%), eggs diversity was the least (2.6%) consumed. Majority (56.9%) of the mothers had just secondary school education, only 16.3% earned a monthly income above N25, 000. The findings show that the nutritional status of Under-5 children in the study location is poor. Malnutrition was evident among young children due to the poor socio- economic status of their mothers
Table Of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- 1.1 Background To The Study
- 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
- 1.3 Research Objectives
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance Of The Study
- 1.7 Definition Of Terms
- 1.8 Organization Of Study
2.0 Literature Review
- 2.1 Conceptual Review
- 2.2 Nutritional Status
- 2.3 Determinants Of Nutritional Status
- 2.4 Theoretical Review
3.0 Materials And Methods
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Data Collection
- 3.3 Anthropometric Measurements
4.0 Results And Discussion
- 4.1 Results
- 4.2 Discussion
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation
- 5.1 Conclusion
- 5.2 Recommendation
1.1 Background to the Study
A nation’s development is largely depended on the quality of education available to its citizens. Primary education is the foundation on which further education is built (Vegas and Petrow, 2008). Primary education has two main purposes. The primary aim is to produce a sane and numerate society that is capable of dealing with the problems. The second purpose is to serve as a foundation on which further education is built (Akanle, 2007).
Nutrition is a fundamental pillar of human life, health and development across the entire life span (FAO/WHO, 1992). From the earliest stages of foetal development, at birth, through infancy, childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood and old age, proper food and good nutrition are essential for survival, physical growth, mental development, performance and productivity, health and well-being (WHO, 2000). Evidence has shown that four (4 )% of the total children born in developing countries die of malnutrition before they are five years old (Toriola, 1990) and that the most affected are usually the children of illiterate parents in low socio-economic status that have low purchasing power in the economy (Adekunle, 2005). Studies have shown that poor feeding and or recurrent infections as a result of poverty leads to stunted growth, substantial brain impairment, low intellectual competence and capacity to learn in children (Kerr et al., 2000; Ivanovic et al., 2002; Chang et al., 2002; Braveman and Gruskin, 2003; Liu et al., 2003; Adebisi, 2013).
Strong evidence exists that poor feeding practices are associated with stunted growth and delayed mental development (Mendez and Adair, 1999); and that there is a relationship between impaired growth status and both poor school performance and intelligence quotient (PAHO, 1998). The relationship between timely and quality dietary intake, brain size and academic performance has been documented (Strupp and Levitsky, 1995; Florey et al., 1995), and that a significant correlation exists between head circumference and intelligence quotient (1Q). This is an indication that there is difference in human brain size which could be relevant in explaining the differences in intelligence and academic performance, although genetic and environmental factors like socio-economic, socio-cultural and psychological factors could be direct or indirect co-determinants of both intelligence and school performance (Vernon et al., 2000; Wickett et al., 2000).
Head circumference is a physical index of both past nutrition and brain development and a good predictor of later intelligence of a child (Botting et al., 1998). Traditionally, family status variables such as socio-economic status and parents’ level of education have been regarded as predictors of children’s academic achievement (Joan, 2009). Head circumference (HC) has been defined as an anthropometric indicator of both nutritional background and brain development (Ivanovic et al., 2004). Findings by other authors reveal that poor prenatal and postnatal HC growth results in poor outcomes in terms of the acquisition of cognitive and academic abilities by the child, and this group is followed by those children with prenatal brain compromise but satisfactory postnatal HC growth (Frisk et al., 2002).
Low maternal education is associated with slower fetal growth, and this effect appears to be stronger for growth of the head than for growth of other organs (Silva et al., 2010). Maternal intelligence quotient, home environment, ethnicity, and family size have been described as important predictors of child intelligence quotient (Cornelius et al., 2009). A 1-cm decrease in HC predicted a 1-point decrease in the Stanford–Binet composite score (Cornelius et al., 2009). Mother‘s educational background, gestational age, and HC at age 2 years could explain the achievement of appropriate schooling at age 8 years (Charkaluk et al., 2011). Findings by other authors suggest that abnormal brain development after prenatal injury or postnatal nutritional deficits are responsible for cognitive deficits in preterm children (Abernethy et al., 2004). For all age and sex groups, Head circumference (HC) has been defined as an anthropometric indicator of both nutritional background and brain development (Ochiai et al., 2008). However, this study seeks to examine the nutritional status of under five years children in Mayodassa community, Jalingo LGA, Taraba state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nutritional deprivation in children negatively impacts the attainment of their full growth potential and mental development. Many children, especially in developing countries, are however deprived of a balanced nutrition which is a basic human need. The United Nations World Food Program documented that 66million children go to school hungry every day in these developing countries, with up to 23 million in Africa alone. Globally, up to 400 million children have to go to bed hungry. Nutritional deprivation with consequent under nutrition which is an underlying factor in about 50% of childhood mortalities worldwide, thus, still remains a cause for public health concern. Within the last decade, the health of hitherto ignored school aged children has come up on the global agenda. Their nutritional status has been shown to be prime in achieving health as under nutrition negatively affects cognition, immune response (with increased risk of morbidity and mortality from disease) and growth with a long term effect on the quality of life, contribution to the workforce and economy of any nation.
Food security which is the ability to obtain safe, nutritious foods in socially acceptable and sustainable ways is important as children who frequently experience food insecurity are more likely to experience hunger and under nutrition. Africa’s indigenous foods are healthy and nutritious but unfortunately, diets offered to many children in developing countries are noted to often lack in variety, which is a key to specific optimal nutrient adequacy. Peculiar feeding characteristics of different African populations thus need to be studied to document area specific feeding patterns as a prelude to measures that will correct inappropriate and inadequate feeding practices. There is a paucity of data on the feeding pattern of children in the area of study. This study is thus important for evidence on food security or otherwise, and the health of the index population, with consideration of possible factors that may influence the status. The outcome of this study is expected to draw attention to the needs of children under five for targeted interventional policies.
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective or main objective of this study is the assessment of nutritional status of under five years children in Mayodassa community, Jalingo LGA, Taraba state, Nigeria. The specific objectives are:
- To assess the nutritional status of children under five years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state
- To investigate the influence of anthropometric parameters on nutritional status of children under five years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state
- To study the influence of parental social economic status on nutritional status of children under five years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
- What is the nutritional status of children under five years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state?
- What is the influence of anthropometric parameters on nutritional status of children under five years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state?
- What is the influence of parental social economic status on nutritional status of children under five years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the conduct of this study;
HO1: There is no significant influence of socio-demographic status of patients on the nutritional statusof children under five years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state.
HA1: There is no significant influence of socio-demographic status of patients on the nutritional status of children under five years in Mayodassa community, Taraba state.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is therefore hoped that results of this study will assist parents and other stakeholders in understanding the influence of some anthropometric parameters on academic performance of these pupils. This will also help policy makers in the design and implementation of nutrition education program at primary school level. The study will create a data base on the influence of some anthropometric parameters and social status on academic performance of primary school children within Ikorodu metropolis.
1.7 Definition Of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Refers to the physical well-being of the child in weight and height.
These include age, gender, birth order, etc.
1.8 Organization Of Study
The study comprises of 5 chapters. In chapter one, the concepts are introduced and the problem of the study is established with the research objectives and questions. Chapter two presents the literature review while chapter three presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter presents the results and discussion, and the last chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation.
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation
In conclusion, knowing the prevalence rates of stunting, underweight and wasting is important for determining the overall health of the community. This study found that malnutrition was prevalent among the under-5 children studied although a few were well nourished. The level of poverty and under education of the mothers could have resulted in the gross under-nutrition observed in the study, the family size could have contributed. Diversity and quality of the meals of particularly children under five years is poor, less than 30% of the children consume highly diversified; while close to 50% consume poorly diversified diets. Most of their foods were of plant source whose nutrients are not bioavailable.
Based on the findings of the study, some nutritionally good food combinations can be introduced in the area that can help in improving the quality of their nutrient intake. Future interventions should focus on improving dietary diversification and fortification which will reduce malnutrition for the rising population. Due to the poor socioeconomic status of mothers, women need to be empowered.
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