Nutritional Status of Children (Aged 2-5 Years) in Food Secure and Insecure Households in Kuyu Woreda, Oromia, Ethiopia

Tamiru Yazew


Malnutrition, poor child feeding practices and low dietary diversity are common in low income households, where food insecurity is prevalent. Therefore, this study was designed to assess and compare nutritional status of children (aged 2-5 years) in food secure and insecure households of Kuyu woreda. A community based comparative, cross sectional study was conducted in March, 2016. Multi stages sampling methods were employed to select 612 children, out of which 304 children were from food secure and 308 from insecure households. Dietary diversity score was assessed using a 24 hrs recall method. Anthropometric measurements of children were taken and nutritional status was generated using WHO Anthro v.3.2.2. Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.0 was used to perform descriptive statistics, independent samples T test and chi-square test analyses. P value <0.05 was considered as statistically significant. The prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting was 48.7%, 36.7% and 20.5% respectively for children in food insecure households. While the prevalence of stunting was 43%, underweight 30.9% and wasting 16.8% for children in food secure households. Daily meal frequency; having breakfast, midmorning, afternoon and bedtime snack among children in food secure households were significantly higher than food insecure households (p<0.05). In  addition,  children  restriction  and pressure  during  meal  were  significantly  (p<0.05) higher in  food  insecure households compared  to  their counterparts.  Moreover,  this  study  found  that  food  secure  and insecure  households  were  significantly  different  in  children's  dietary  diversity  scores (x2=13.1,  p<0.001),  child  feeding  practices (x2=11.2,  p=  0.001), consumption  of  dairy products  (x2=15.44,  p<0.001)  and  vitamin  A  rich  fruits  and  vegetables (x2=8.37, p=0.004). Most importantly, the study revealed that nutritional statuses of children from food secure households were significantly better compared to those from their counterparts. Therefore,  Productivity  Safety  Net  Program with  all responsible  bodies should  be intensified  to  improve  the  nutritional  status,  child  feeding practices and dietary diversity scores of children  in the study area.

Keywords: under nutrition, children aged 2-5 years, feeding practices, food insecurity

DOI: 10.7176/ALST/81-02

Publication date: August 31st 2020

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