Year : 2017  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-59

Nutritional status of schoolchildren in Jos East Local Government Area of Plateau State, North Central Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Benue State University, Makurdi; Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Jos; Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
3 Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Rose O Abah
Department of Paediatrics, Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jomt.jomt_44_16

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Background: Most nutritional surveys either focus on under-five children or adolescents aged 10–19 years. Few works have been reported among school-aged children of 6–12 years. In Nigeria, a recent demographic health survey only focused on under-five children. Thus, not much is discussed as regards the nutritional state of children aged 6–12 years. Objective: To determine the prevalence and pattern of malnutrition among school-aged children in Jos East Local Government Area of Plateau State using the 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) standards for schoolchildren and adolescents. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on schoolchildren aged 6–12 years from 10 schools. Sociodemographic data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Height and weight were measured according to standard procedures. The height-for-age Z-score and the body mass index-for-age Z-score were generated from the WHO software Anthroplus®. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 17.0 software was used for data analysis. Results: The mean age of the participants was 9.5 ± 1.8 years, and the male:female ratio was 1.1:1. The mean weight and height were 25.06 ± 4.56 kg and 128.07 ± 10.01 cm, respectively. The prevalence of stunting was 10.34%, overweight/obesity 4.47%, and thinness 1.39%. The adolescent age group (10–12 years) had a significantly higher (15.98%) prevalence of stunting than that of the preadolescent age group (3.66%). Conclusion: Chronic undernutrition is a problem among the schoolchildren considered in this study with the adolescent age group bearing the greater burden.

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