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Type Journal Article - International Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Title Feeding practices and determinants of the nutritional status of pupils in a public primary school in Aladinma Owerri, Nigeria
Author(s)
Volume 4
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 12-18
URL http://pubs.sciepub.com/ijcn/4/1/3/
Abstract
Background: Poor feeding practices with its consequence of malnutrition is a serious impediment to child health, growth and development. Thus, periodic assessment of the nutritional status and factors affecting it among this often neglected group remains imperative. Objective: To assess the feeding practices and determinants of the nutritional status of pupils in a public primary school in Aladinma Owerri, Nigeria. Materials and methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional study of 300 pupils of a selected public primary school in Aladinma Owerri, Nigeria. The sampling was done in two stages. Data was collected using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire and analysed using statistical package for social sciences version 22.0. Nutritional assessment was done using anthropometric parameters, while Chi-square test was used to identify statistically significant associations between variables. A p value of ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. Results: There were more females 158(52.7%) than males while the mean and median ages were 9.7±0.3 and 10.6±0.3 years respectively. Two hundred and sixty five (88.3%) of them fed at least thrice daily, 92(30.7%) skipped breakfast regularly, while 215(71.7%) had school meals during break period. There were statistically significant associations between Body Mass Index for age (Underweight, Normal and Overweight cum Obese) and [sex (p=0.0121); number of siblings (p=0.013), mothers’ educational status (p=0.001) and number of meals per day (p=0.005)] respectively. Conclusions: School’s policies and programs that focus on promoting feeding practices and improving childhood nutrition will benefit children.

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