African Health Sciences

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Under nutrition and associated factors among school adolescents in Dangila Town, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross sectional study

Yeshalem Mulugeta Demilew, Amanu Aragaw Emiru


Background: Under nutrition in adolescents is an important determinant of health outcomes. Yet, adolescents are not usually part of health and nutrition surveys. Therefore, this research was conducted to assess factors associated with under nutrition among school adolescents.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 424 school adolescents from November 1-15, 2015. Simple random sampling was used to select the study participants. Data were collected using structured questionnaire and analyzed by SPSS version 20 software. Both bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify predictors of under nutrition. Furthermore, anthropometric data were calculated using Anthro-plus software.
Result: The prevalence of stunting and thinness were 24.8 % and 7.1 %, respectively. Male gender [AOR=3.2, 95 % CI: (1.7, 5.8)], infrequent food intake [AOR=4.6, 95% CI: (2.6, 8.0)], unavailability of latrine [AOR=2.7, 95 % CI: (1.2, 6.0)], and poor hand washing practice [AOR=3.9, 95 % CI: (1.9, 8.1)] were independent predictors of stunting. Factors associated with thinness were being male [AOR=11.5, 95% CI: (3.3, 39.5)], illness in the last two weeks [AOR=2.9, 95 % CI: (1.2, 7.0)], and having more than five family members [AOR=3.6, 95% CI: (1.3, 9.4)].
Conclusion: The prevalence of under nutrition was high in this study. Infrequent food intake, unavailability of a latrine, poor hand washing practice, and large family members were the factors associated with under nutrition. There is need to implement nutrition education to school adolescents by giving emphasis on environmental and personal hygiene.

Keywords: Adolescent, stunting, thinness.

AJOL African Journals Online