Nutritional status as a determinant of cognitive development among preschool children in South-Western Nigeria 4

Nutritional status as a determinant of cognitive development among preschool children in South-Western Nigeria 4

Author by Miss Onofade Am

Journal/Publisher: British Food Journal

Volume/Edition: 118

Language: English

Pages: 1568 - 1578

Abstract

Purpose – Improving the health of children under the age of five is one of the main objectives of

primary healthcare services in most developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to identify the

nutritional status of children under the age of five and its impact on cognitive function.

Design/methodology/approach – The cross-sectional study was carried out in a semi-urban

community in south-western Nigeria. The sample consisted of 220 school children under the age of five.

Anthropometric measurements including weight, height and mid arm circumference were carried out

to determine the nutritional status of the children. Cognitive function of the children was assessed

using a developmental checklist developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and their

performance was graded as good, fair and poor.

Findings – The overall prevalence of malnutrition in this study was low with stunting, underweight and

wasting recording 8.2, 6.8 and 1.8 percent, respectively thereby making stunting the most common

malnutrition indicator in this study. A large proportion of the children (88.6 percent) had good cognitive

performance while 11.4 and 5.5 percent had fair and poor cognitive performance, respectively. Among the

variousmalnutrition indicatorsmeasured in this study, stunting was found to have a statistically significant

association with cognitive development ( p.0.005).Stunted children have multiple functional disadvantages

that persist throughout childhood and poor nutrition almost certainly plays a role. This paper calls for a

need for the Nigerian Government to intervene by ensuring that policies are implemented that will ensure

that health and nutritional needs of preschool children are guaranteed right from conception.


Other Co-Authors