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Type Journal Article - International Journal for Equity in Health
Title House ownership, frequency of illness, fathers’ education: the most significant socio-demographic determinants of poor nutritional status in adolescent girls from low income households of Lahore, Pakistan
Volume 16
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 122
URL https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-017-0621-z
Socio demographic factors besides dietary factors play important role in determining the health status of an individual. Health and nutritional Intervention programs stand a greater chance of success if planned, keeping the socio demographic characteristics of a certain population in focus. The present study was conducted to identify those socio demographic determinants which have a significant association with poor nutritional status in adolescent girls belonging to economically deprived households of Lahore.

A cross-sectional analytical study of 140 adolescent girls living in the peri urban communities of Lahore was conducted. Socioeconomic and demographic data of the participants was recorded through a pretested questionnaire. Body mass index (BMI), a commonly used anthropometric measurement was taken as an indicator of nutritional status. Below normal (<18.5 m2) BMI was considered a benchmark of malnutrition in adolescent girls. Frequencies and percentages for socio demographic variables were calculated and Fisher Exact test was used to find out the association of nutritional status with socio-demographic predictors. Stepwise backward logistic regression analysis was then run to identify the most significant determinants associated with poor nutritional status in the adolescents. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Chronic energy deficiency was highly prevalent among adolescent girls, 58% had BMI < 18.5 m2. Binary regression analysis result showed that the participants who lived in rented houses (AOR = 3.513; 95% CI = 1.366 to 9.031) who fell ill frequently (AOR = 2.996; 95% CI = 1.198 to 7.491) whose fathers were illiterate (AOR = 2.941; 95% CI = 1.187 to 7.287) were at greater odds of having poor nutritional status. Interestingly, the participants who lived in joint families (AOR = 0.411; 95% CI = 0.145 to 1.168) and were more frequently food insecure (AOR = 0.431; 95% CI = 0.164 to 1.133) had lesser odds of having poor nutritional status than those who lived in nuclear families and were food secure.

Frequency of illness, house ownership and fathers’ education are the determinants positively associated with poor nutritional status of adolescent girls. Food insecurity and joint family structure were negatively associated with poor nutritional status. The study will help in planning interventions for improving nutritional status of adolescent girls by targeting the significant socio demographic determinants of poor nutritional status among this group.

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