Nutrient intakes and nutritional status of children of Samin indigenous people in Indonesia
Undernutrition is still a problem in the world. In Indonesia, the problem of undernutrition is high especially underweight, stunting and wasting among children under five years old. Some indigenous people usually have lower economical levels, educational levels and health status compared to the rest of the population and as a result indigenous people are usually prone to malnutrition. Samin is one example of indigenous people in Indonesia. The main objective of this study was to compare nutrient intakes and nutritional status of children under five years in Closed and Opened Samin indigenous people in Indonesia. Closed Samin people tend to hold on to their culture firmly and are less receptive to some government programs, while Opened Samin tend to be more receptive to government programs. This was a cross-sectional study design. Participants were selected by snowball sampling technique; 120 households with children under five years were selected. Food consumption of the children was collected through direct interviews using 1x24 hours recall procedure. Nutritional status was assessed by weighing the children’s body weights. Children’s anthropometric data were analyzed using the WHO Anthro Plus software. T-test and Mann-Whitney were used to analyze the difference between groups. The study showed that nutrient intakes (energy, protein, vitamin A, iron and calcium) of children in Closed Samin were significantly lower than those in Opened Samin (p<0.05). The vitamin C intake of both groups was not significantly different (p>0.05). The mean of energy, vitamin C and calcium intake in both groups did not meet Indonesian Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). Based on the RDA reference, protein and vitamin A adequacy of children in Closed Samin and Opened Samin were sufficient. Iron adequacy was different in Closed Samin classified as inadequate, whereas Opened Samin was normal. The prevalence of underweight in Closed Samin was 49%, while in Opened Samin it was 21%. The weight-for-age Z-score (WAZ) of children in both groups showed significant differences (p=0.006) with mean z-score -1.8±1.4 for Closed Samin and -1.1±1.4 for Opened Samin. In conclusion, the mean of nutrient intakes and nutritional status of children in Opened Samin was higher than Closed Samin. That was due to the household economic levels and maternal nutritional knowledge, which was also higher in Opened Samin. The local government must find the best approach in resolving problems related to child nutrition of Closed Samin indigenous people and be more active to encourage participation in government programs.
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