Oluwole Steve Ijarotimi and Adeola Omolola Odeyemi
Food insecurity is the major problem facing develop ing countries. The nutritional well-being of childr en growing up in this condition is seriously affected. In view of this, the present study aimed at investigating prevalence of household food insecuri ty and nutritional status of children from rural communities in Ondo State, Nigeria. The study was a descriptive cross-sectional designed studied among 909 males and 897 females children randomly s elected from public primary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria. Demographic characteristics, dietar y intakes and anthropometric measurements (height, weight and head circumference) of the children were collected through questionnaires. The quantity of dietary intake and percentage RDI met of the childr en were determined using portion size/household instruments, chemical analysis and dietary referenc e intakes (DRI) standard. BMI-for-age and height- for-age z-score of the children were also determined using the method and reference of WHO. The household food security status of the children’s fa mily was determined using household coping strategies. The result showed that 37% of the famil ies were food secure while the remaining (63 %) wer e food insecure. The percentage met of DRI by the chi ldren in terms of energy, protein and mineral (calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, potassium and magnesiu m) were considerably less than recommended intakes. The mean height of female children was sig nificantly higher when compared with male counterpart between 10-14 years, while that of thei r weight was lower between 6-9 years. For the BMI- for-age z-score, 13.9% of the children were obese/ov erweight 39.6% normal and 46.5% underweight; while that of height-for-age z-score, 56.8% were nor mal and 43.3% stunted. Head circumference-for-age z-score, 52.7% of the children had normal head circu mference and 47.3% had head circumference below normal. The present study investigated househ old food insecurity status and nutritional status o f children. The findings showed high prevalence of ho usehold food insecurity and child malnutrition, hence, there is a need for nutrition programmes suc h as school feeding in order to complement the nutrient intake of the children from homes.
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