Factors Associated With Adolescent Malnutrition Among Nigerian Students

  • AA Abdulkarim
  • AT Otuneye
  • PA Ahmed
  • DR Shattima
Keywords: Key words, Adolescent, malnutrition, associated factors


This study determined the factors associated with malnutrition among adolescents in senior secondary schools in The Abuja Municipal area council. This was a cross-sectional study conducted among adolescents (10-19 years) in secondary schools. A multistage sampling technique was employed to select a total of 1700 students from selected schools. All schools in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) were stratified into urban and rural schools. Eight schools were selected by balloting from a list of schools obtained from the Education centre. A school was selected from each of the four major districts of AMAC and four schools were selected from the rural making a total of 8 schools. Although the consent of the school authorities were obtained, individual subject also consented to the study before being enrolled. The study excluded those adolescents who were physically challenged thus limiting physical activity. Socio-demographic information was obtained using an interviewer administered questionnaire. Subject's height and weight was taken using the floor-type height (H) and weight (W) measuring scale model ZT-120 using Massachusetts department of public health protocol. The nutritional status was determined using the formula: BMI= W/H2 , where W =weight (in kilograms) and H= height (in meters). The age and sex specific height and BMI percentile for each subject was determined using the 2007 WHO Height and BMI growth charts for age 5-19years. The students were then classified into one of the following categories using previously used standards: normal, stunted, overweight or obese. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17 statistical package. A regression analysis of all investigated factors was done to determine those with significant association to malnutrition. The mean age was 14.43±1.94 years; male 688, female 862, M:F ratio 1.1.3. Mean BMI, weight and heightwere 20.31±3.07kg/m2, 51.07± 10.80 kg, and157.88±9.33 cm respectively. The prevalence ofoverweight, stunting, obesity and wasting wasdocumented as 13.2% (205/1550), 11.3% (175/1550),2.6% (41/1550) and 1.7% (27/1550) respectively. Lowsocial class, male gender, hawking after school andrural setting were associated with stunting (p< 0.05)and female gender and watching Television for morethan 3 hours daily were associated with overweight(p<0.05). Obesity occurred more in urban areas


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