Nigerian Journal of Nutritional Sciences

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Prevalence of stunted child overweight mother pair in some communities south-east Nigeria

Gertrude Nneka Onyeji, Rasaki Ajani Sanusi


Background: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in Nigeria is on the rise coupled with the increase in the number of children under the age of five years who are stunted due to malnutrition.

Objective: This study examined the co-existence of a stunted child and overweight mother (SCOWTM) in the same household in some communities in south-east Nigeria.

Methods: A multi-stage sampling procedure was adopted in selection of 1187 women of reproductive age (18 to 49 years) who had children 6-59 months of age. Weight and height measurements were conducted for mothers and their children. Stunting was defined as height-for-age at <-2 SD, wasting as weight-for-height at <-2SD, and underweight as weight-for-age at <-2SD of reference population while maternal overweight was defined as a Body Mass Index >25 kg/m2. Data collected were analyzed using SPSS, version 16. Significant level was determined at p < 0.05

Results: Overweight mothers were 61.8%. The mean age, height and weight of children were 18.9±6.2 months, 70.1 ±17.8 cm, weight 9.5±4.7kg, respectively. Prevalence of wasting, stunting and underweight among the children were 11.9%, 34.9% and 10.8%, respectively. The prevalence of SCOWTM pair was 11.29%. The urban areas had 15.2% prevalence while the rural had 10.0% but the difference was not significant (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: There was high prevalence of the coexistence of child stunting and maternal overweight in the same household in the study area. Further studies are needed to understand the causes and to develop intervention strategies.

Keywords: Body weight, mothers, overweight, stunting, children

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