IMPACT OF SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS ON NUTRITIONAL STATUS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN
AbstractBackground: Child malnutrition is a major public health and development concern in most of the poorcommunities leading to high morbidity and mortality. Various studies have highlighted the factorsinvolved. The present study focuses on socioeconomic inequality resulting in malnutrition. Objectivesof the Study were to find the Impact of socio-economic factors on nutritional status in primary schoolchildren. Methods: It was a cross sectional survey conducted at Lahore from February to August 2005among primary schools from public and private sectors to assess the nutritional status of primary schoolgoing children age 5–11 years belonging to different socio economic classes of the society. Systematicrandom sampling technique was applied to collect the sample. Body Mass Index in relation toNHANES reference population was used for assessing nutritional status. Results: The nutritional statusof children from lower socio economic class was poor as compared to their counter parts in upper socioeconomic class. Children with BMI <5thpercentile were 41% in lower class while in upper class it was19.28%. Prevalence of malnutrition was 42.3% among children of illiterate mothers as compare to 20%in those of literate mothers. Conclusion: Poverty, low literacy rate, large families, food insecurity, foodsafety, women’s education appears to be the important underlying factors responsible for poor healthstatus of children from low socioeconomic class. It requires economic, political and social changes aswell as changes for personal advancement mainly through educational opportunities to improve thenutritional status of the children.Keywords: Body Mass Index, BMI, Malnutrition, Nutrition, Children, Primary School
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