Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Anthropometric assessment of primary one pupils from different socio-economic classes in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Ogun State, Nigeria

Joseph O. Olusanya, Rachael A. Akano, Oluwakemi C. Sanni


Background: Undernutrition constitutes major health problems among school children in Nigeria. School age children who suffered from early childhood undernutrition can have serious long-term implications for health, psychosocial well-being, as well as educational achievements.

Objective: This study therefore assessed nutritional status of primary One pupils in Abeokuta South Local Government Area (ASLGA) of Ogun State, Nigeria.

Methods: A descriptive survey using multistage sampling technique was conducted among 542 primary one pupils in ASLGA. Schools were divided into Type I, II, and III for low, medium and upper socio-economic classes respectively. Validated semi-structured and interviewer administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographic characteristics. Nutritional assessment was conducted to determine the prevalence of underweight, stunting and wasting. WHO Anthro plus was used to analyse anthropometric data. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square test and ANOVA at p=0.05.

Results: In all, 51.7%, 48.6% and 1.3% were underweight, stunted, and wasted respectively. Results based on sex and school type showed that, significantly more boys were underweight, stunted and wasted than female within pupils from each socio-economic status. Also, significantly, higher percentage of pupils from low socio-economic status (Type 1 schools) were underweight (74.4%) stunted (64.4%) and wasted (23.4%) than from medium (Type II schools) and upper socio-economic status (Type III schools). However, prevalence of overweight was significantly higher among pupils from upper socio-economic status.

Conclusion: Undernutrition is more prevalent among pupils from low socio-economic status. There is therefore, the need for Nigerian government to address twin issue of widespread poverty in the country.

Keywords: Nutritional status, Primary 1 pupils, Anthropometric parameters

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