Nutritional status and its possible determinants among children attending early child care centres in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
Background: Nutritional status of children has become a worldwide public health issue and its assessment has been adjudged the best global indicator of well-being in children. One in three children under the age of five (178 million children) in developing countries are stunted due to chronic under-nutrition and poor quality diets. Without addressing malnutrition, the Sustainable Development Goal 2 of ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition may not be attained. This study assessed the nutritional status and its possible determinants among children attending Early Child Care Centres in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
Methods: A descriptive crosssectional study was carried out on 544 under-five children attending ECCCs in Benin City. Data was obtained with pretested interviewer-administered questionnaires. Nutritional status was assessed using anthropometric measurement. Data was analyzed with IBM SPSS version 21.0 and statistical significance was determined using Chi square with p value set at < 0.05.
Results: Seventy nine (14.5%) of the children were stunted, while 68 (12.5%), 67 (12.3%) and 13 (2.8%) were underweight, wasted, and obese respectively. Significant possible determinants of being underweight and wasted among the children were age of child (p = 0.041) and exclusive breastfeeding (p = 0.011) while the predictor for wasting was exclusive breastfeeding (p = 0.011).
Conclusion: Over a tenth of the respondents were either stunted, underweight or wasted while a few of the children were obese. All stakeholders involved in ensuring and promoting proper nutrition among under-five children should work as a team in order to develop intervention programmes and ensure adequate nutrition in children.
Keywords: Nutritional Status; Determinants; Early Child Care Centers