Assessment of School-Meal Nutrient Composition and Anthropometry Measurements of Children in Public Primary Schools Operating School-Feeding Programme in Osun State
Background: The objectives of the study were to evaluate nutrient composition and contribution of the school meals to the children daily nutrient requirements
Methods: Cross-sectional study was conducted among school-children in Osun State Nigeria. Data on socio-demographic variables, household food security and dietary patterns of the children were collected using questionnaires. Height-for-age and body mass index-for-age z-score of the children were determined. The school-meal samples were evaluated for chemical composition, and percentage
contributions of the school-meal to the daily nutrient requirements of the children were determined.
Results: Household food consumption patterns of the children indicated that 83% depend on starchbased foods, while 72.2% depend on legumes as the main source of protein intakes. For the fruits/vegetables, 71% agreed on regular intakes, while others did not. The protein and energy intakes from the school-meal were 27.12 g/day and 594.05 kcal/day, respectively; and these contributed between 79.78 - 142.76% and 33.0 - 49.5% of the children daily nutrient requirements. The prevalence of underweight and stunting in female children (22.6%, 29.4%) were higher than in male counterparts (21.4%, 28.4%).
Conclusion: The school-meals contributed positively to the daily protein and energy requirements of the children. However, prevalence of underweight and stunting was noticed among the schoolchildren. Hence, there is a need to improve on the quantity and quality of the school-meals. This finding may be relevant to health and educational policy makers in Nigeria.
Keywords: Household food insecurity, School-meal programme, Nutrient composition, Prevalence of malnutrition, School children
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