||Factors Associated with the Nutritional Status of Schoolchildren in the Main City of Benin Republic, Sub-Saharan Africa
AZANDJEME COLETTE SYLVIE ,
Alihonou Florence ,
SOSSA JÉRÔME CHARLES ,
Gbatcho Ulrich ,
||Int Arch Public Health Community Med.
||Background: Malnutrition has become a real concern today.
It is a pathological condition resulting from the relative
or absolute deficiency or excess of one or more essential
nutrients and can occur through either clinical or anthropometric
signs or physiological or biochemical analyses.
General objective: The purpose of this study was to determine
the factors associated with and the extent of malnutrition
in schoolchildren in Cotonou, the main city of Benin
Method: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in July
2016. It involved data collection regarding food and nutritional
knowledge, nutritional habits and practices, physical
activity level and health status which were obtained using
survey research. The study took place in four schools from
the Friendly School of Nutrition Initiative (FNSI) in Cotonou
and focused on schoolchildren aged from eight to eleven
(n = 182). Anthropometric data including weight and height
were collected, BMI indices weight-for age and height-forage
were calculated, making it thereby possible to assess
the nutritional status of the schoolchildren. Factors associated
with malnutrition were determined by logistic regression
(p < 0.05).
Results: From the outcome of this study, 13% of the children
were wasted; 5% were overweight or obese. The
proportion of stunting was 5% of which 1% were severely stunted. Thirty-four percent (34%) of schoolchildren were
anemic. Factors associated with wasting in schoolchildren
were age (OR = 4.99; p = 0.007), gender (OR = 0.36; p =
0.049) and maternal employment status (OR = 5.58; p =
0.021). Maternal employment status had a high influence on
stunting (OR = 7.77; p = 0.033). Conclusion: It appears that the double burden of malnutrition is a reality in Cotonou’s schools and is characterized
by coexistence of wasting, stunting, overweight and obesity
in these schoolchildren. Efficient strategies are needed to
improve the nutritional status of Cotonou’s schoolchildren.
||Double burden, Malnutrition, Schoolchildren, Associated
factors, Cotonou, Benin
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