NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN ENUGU SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ENUGU STATE
The study was conducted to ascertain the nutritional status of primary school children in Enugu South Local Government Area, Enugu State. Fifteen specific objectives were posited with fifteen corresponding research questions and twelve null- hypotheses were also postulated to guide the study. The descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The population for the study was eight thousand, eight hundred and seventy primary school children while the sample for the study consisted of 405 PSC. A three-sectioned researcher designed questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. The instrument was validated by five experts: three from the Department of Health and Physical Education and two from Department of Home and Food Science, all in the University of Nigeria Nsukka. The reliability correlation-coefficient index obtained was .87. Percentages, frequencies and Chi-square were used to analyze the data obtained and testing of hypotheses. The results of the study showed that: majority of PSC were normal regarding height-for-age (stunting) (80.0%), regarding weight-for-height (wasting) (93.6%), and as regards weight-for-age (underweight) (93.1%). Majority of male PSC were normal (83.2%) as regards height-for-age (stunting), female were normal (94.5%) as regards weight-for-height (wasting) and as regard weight-for-age (underweight) (93.6%). Majority of PSC in rural area were normal (89.6%) as regards height-for-age (stunting),as regard weight-for-height (wasting) (95.7%) and weight-for-age (underweight) (95.1%).Also majority of PSC of age group 6.0-6.9 to 9.0-9.9 years were normal (84.4%) as regards height-for-age (stunting), with regard to weight-for-height(wasting) (94.6%),As regards weight-for-age (underweight) majority of the both age were normal(93.2%), higher proportions of food were given to PSC occasionally, 2-3times per week. There were significance difference in location, age group, the proportion of food given to PSC according to level of education of parents/caregivers/guardians, based on income and number of children in the family. Following from the results, discussions and conclusions of the study. The researcher recommended that appropriate counseling on nutritional intake should be given to primary school children to avoid revert, also to their parents or caregivers or guardians. Also government and non government agency should intensify effort on importance of family planning and advocate small family size.
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