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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2013 Jul;26 Suppl 1:73-81. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12069.

Dietary patterns, anthropometric status, prevalence and risk factors for anaemia among school children aged 5-11 years in Central Uganda.

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  • 1Institute of Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK. fmt1g09@soton.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To determine the dietary patterns, anthropometric status, prevalence and risk factors for anaemia among school children aged 5-11 years in a peri-urban area of Central Uganda.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study involving both qualitative and quantitative methods was used. Anthropometric data were taken using standardised equipment, whereas haemoglobin was assessed using a haemoglobin meter. Food intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. One hundred and twenty-two primary school children, aged 5-11 years, and their carers were recruited in the study.

RESULTS:

The proportion of anaemic children (haemoglobin <12 g/dl) was 37.7%; 36.9% of these had mild and 0.8% had moderate anaemia. The unadjusted odds ratio (OR) showed that children who never consumed fish had a nine-fold increased odds of being anaemic [OR = 9.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.6-50.7; P = 0.018], whereas those who had fewer meals (1-2 per day) had a 27.0% increased risk (OR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.1-12.6; P = 0.021). The adjusted OR showed number of meals per day as the only independent predictor of anaemia (OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.1-11.8; P = 0.031). The proportion of malnutrition (<-2 SD) for wasting (body mass index for age) was 3.3%, being underweight was 5.8% and stunting was 6.6%. Children aged >8 years were associated with wasting (P = 0.041) and stunting (P = 0.034). One main dietary pattern was identified explaining approximately 20.4% of the variability of intake in the population. However, scores of this pattern were not significantly associated with child haemoglobin levels.

CONCLUSIONS:

Anaemia but not macronutrient malnutrition in this cohort of school children is high. Patterns of the dietary intake observed did not explain nutritional status in this population.

PMID:
23782401
DOI:
10.1111/jhn.12069
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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