Effect of Family Structure on Nutritional Status of Pre-School Children (2 – 5years) in a Rural Nigerian Population

Helen Henry-Unaeze, Lilian Ibe


Objectives: This study evaluated the effect of family structure on nutritional status of three hundred (300) pre-school children randomly selected in the rural area of Ikwuano Nigeria.                                                                                                                                                            A high percentage (70.0%) had married parents, 85.0% were from monogamous families and 80.0% live with both parents. The major (45%) family size was 4 – 5persons, 36% had parents whose age was less than 36years old. Thirty percent of their fathers were civil servants and 70% of mothers were skilled laborers who earned between N11,000.00 – 20,000 per month. As much as 40% spend <N6,000.00 on monthly food expenditure. The mean (SD) of anthropometric indices were height 1.0 (1.8)m, weight 18.4 (4.2)kg, Bicep 9.2 (1.6)mm, Triceps 9.2 (1.6)mm; MUAC 7.4(1.9)mm.  Low percentages (0.7%) were severely under-weight, 25% were severely stunted and 6% were severely wasted. The BMI of subjects revealed that 35% were obese, 6.7% overweight and 10.7% were at risk of overweight. The position of the child in the family and type of family significantly influenced (P<0.05) the weight-for-age Z-score at 14.4% variability. The position of the child also influenced the height-for-age Z-score at 18.8% and weight-for-age at 9.1% variability.

Key words: Family structure, nutritional status, pre-school children, rural population.


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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