Paper Information

Journal:   JOURNAL OF NUTRITION SCIENCES & FOOD TECHNOLOGY   WINTER 2008 , Volume 2 , Number 4; Page(s) 41 To 48.
 
Paper: 

ANTHROPOMETRIC ASSESSMENT OF THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF UNDER-5-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN IN MOTHER-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS UNDER COVERAGE OF THE IMAM KHOMEINI RELIEF FOUNDATION OF TEHRAN AND FACTORS RELATED TO IT, 2005

 
 
Author(s):  ESFARJANI F.*, SALARKIA N., ROUSTAEI R., ABADI ALI REZA
 
* DEPARTMENT OF FOOD AND NUTRITION POLICY AND PLANNING RESEARCH, NATIONAL NUTRITION AND FOOD TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, FACULTY OF NUTRITION SCIENCES AND FOOD TECHNOLOGY, SHAHID BEHESHTI UNIVERSITY, M.C.
 
Abstract: 

Background and Objective: Poverty is one of the most important malnutrition risk factors. As one-third of the households headed by mothers are in the population’s lower deciles of income, their children are more vulnerable to malnutrition. This study was performed to assess the nutritional status of under-5-year old children in mother-headed households under coverage of the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation of Tehran in 2005.
Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study in which the sample households were randomly selected, proportionately, from 8 regions (in the northern, southern, eastern, western, and central parts of Tehran) of the Tehran Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation. In each region, all the under-5-year old children (n=137) in those mother-headed households who had active health files and whose mothers had signed the informed consent entered the study. Data were collected through interviews with mothers, using a questionnaire containing items on demographic characteristics of the household and the children’s diet history of the first and second years of life; the interviewers were experienced nutrition (BSc) graduates. In addition, anthropometric measurements were made using standard methods. To determine the nutritional status, weight and height figures were compared with the US National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) standards. Data were analyzed using the Epi-info and SPSS software.
Results: The findings showed that (1). The mean age of the mothers was 31 ± 4.7 years, 67% of them had 2 or 3 children, less than 10% were working, 47% lived in rented accommodation, and their highest level of education (42%) was guidance-school education; (2). About 95% of the children had been fed colostrum and 67% had been breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of life; (3). Complementary feeding and family food introduction had started for 55% and 30% of the children at a suitable age, respectively; (4). The prevalence rates of underweight, wasting, overweight, and stunting were 11%, 6%, 5% and 10%, respectively; (5). Based on the logistic regression analysis, the odds ratio (OR) of underweight in girls was 6.39 as compared to boys (CI 95%: 1.56-27.35), and the OR of underweight in children of illiterate or elementary-education level mothers was 6.29 as compared with the children of mothers with guidance-school education (CI 95%: 1.23-29.60(.
Conclusion: This study showed that the under-5-year old children in the mother-headed households suffer from different degrees of malnutrition. Programs and activities, such as mothers’ education in living skills and increasing their literacy level, as well as targeted food aid/subsidies along with nutrition education, are highly recommended to improve the present situation.

 
Keyword(s): UNDER-5-YEAR OLD CHILDREN, MOTHER-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS, ANTHROPOMETRIC MEASUREMENTS, NUTRITIONAL STATUS
 
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