Nutritional status of primary school children in Enugu, Nigeria using anthropometric measurements
Background: The survival and wellbeing of children is largely dependent on nutrition. Malnutrition in children can co-exist as under- and over-nutrition in the same population with varying attendant medical risks.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the nutritional status of primary school children in Enugu North LGA, using anthropometry.
Methodology: This was a cross sectional descriptive study involving primary school children aged 6-12years in Enugu. Subjects were selected using multistage sampling technique over a 3 month period. Weight and height were measured using a digital scale and a wooden stadiometer, respectively. Weight-for-age, Height- for -age and Body Mass Index-for-age z scores were then derived using the new WHO reference standards.
Results: Three hundred and forty eight (40.4%) children were recruited from public schools while 512 (59.6%) were recruited from private schools. The mean age of the study subjects was 9.18 ± 1.79 years. Seven (0.8%) children were stunted, 26 (3.3%) wasted and 28 (3.3%) underweight. Overweight and obesity were observed in 73 (8.5%) and 35 (4.1%) children, respectively. Under-nutrition was more prevalent in children aged 12 years (P= 0.001) whereas males were found to be more obese than females (P= 0.02).
Conclusion: There was a low prevalence of under nutrition. However, overweight and obesity appear to be emerging as nutritional problems.
Keywords: Nutrition, Obesity, Stunting, Underweight, Wasting, Anthropometry