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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2018 November;177(11);617-23

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.17.03622-1

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Prevalence and determinants of malnutrition in primary school children in Shiraz, Iran

Mahkameh ASHOURPOUR 1, Mohammad-Hossein KAVEH 2, Hamdi-Reza TABATABAEE 3, Maryam TAGHDIR 4, Mousa SALEHI 1

1 Department of Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; 2 Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; 3 Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; 4 Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Faculty of Health, Bagiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


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BACKGROUND: Childhood and adolescence are considered critical periods of rapid growth during the life span of human beings; therefore, screening, identification, and treatment of growth failure deserve great attention.
METHODS: The present cross-sectional study was carried out on 4460 fourth to six grade elementary students (2187 boys and 2273 girls) from September 2014 to March 2015. A representative multistage cluster sample of children in 40 primary schools of Shiraz, south-east of Iran, was enrolled. The z-score values for height-, and BMI-for age relative to the WHO 2007 reference were calculated using Epi Info and WHO Anthro Plus softwares. Backward stepwise logistic regression analyses were used to relate socio-economic and demographic factors on the under-nutrition indices, and the results were presented by Odds Ratios (ORs) with 95% Confidence Interval (CI).
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of stunting and underweight were 2.9% and 6%, respectively. The OR of underweight in girls was 3.08 (1.63-5.85) relative to boys. Large family size (OR=1.48 [1.21-3.6]) was a significant predictor of underweight. Nonworking mothers (OR=1.21 [1.15-1.85]) and Lower maternal education (1.72 [1.26-2.56]) were determined as stunting and wasting risk factors, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: According to WHO category, the study subjects were in the lower level of stunting and underweight. This study found that child’s gender, maternal educational and working status, and family size are important determinants of child’s nutritional status. Efforts directed towards improvement of female literacy, women empowerment and restricting family size will have a positive effect on the nutritional status of school children.


KEY WORDS: Body height - Age factors - Body Mass Index - Child - Malnutrition

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