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ASSESSMENT OF ANTHROPOMETRIC, DIETARY PATTERN AND MICRONUTRIENT STATUS OF SCHOOL CHILDREN AGED 6 – 15 YEARS IN EDE-OBALLA, NSUKKA L.G.A., ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

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Abstract

Reduction in the under-five morbidity and mortality rates as a result of improved nutrition and health care services has increased the number of school going children. Assessment of the school child’s nutritional status becomes imperative in ensuring that the gains are sustained so that they can benefit maximally from education. This work assessed the anthropometric, dietary pattern and micronutrient status of school children aged 6 – 15 years in a rural community of Enugu State, Nigeria. The methodology involved a descriptive cross sectional design. The respondents were 450 primary and secondary school children randomly selected out of 2366 school children from the ten schools in Ede-Oballa. Multistage random sampling technique was used in the selection of the study sample. Data were collected using questionnaire, clinical examination, anthropometry, 3-day weighed food intake, chemical analysis of commonly consumed local foods, blood and stool analyses. The questionnaire elicited information on the socio-economic background of the respondents, the children’s household and health characteristics/practices, their snacks and meal pattern and the consumption pattern/preference profile of micronutrient rich foods.