NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN
The purpose of the study was to find out the difference between food nutrients status and the types given to Primary school pupils. To also identify the extent to which poor nutritional needs prevailed among pupils in Primary school so as to devise a means of improving the academic performance of pupils through identifying way of given pupils assistance for better performance. Essentially, the study was a survey research and the subject consisted of 100 pupils, 50 parents and 50 teachers drawn from the sampled primary school and communities in Ikorodu. The study consisted both male and female. Ten questions were administered to the parents, pupils and teachers respectively. Simple percentile rank was used for data analysis. The result gathered showed that poor nutrition prevalent among Primary school pupils in Ikorodu, which is as a result of low socio-economic status of their parents. Government, Non-Governmental Agencies, UNICEF and other stakeholder in education are beckoned to provide the pupils with free foods in school which will go a long way in preventing the menaces of poor nutrition and its effects on the academic performance of the pupils. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were directed to government, parents, teachers and community at large on how to prevent poor nutrition to improve the academic performance of the pupils.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.3 STUDY OBJECTIVES
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.5 STUDY QUESTIONS/HYPOTHESES
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
REVIEW OF RELATED AND RELEVANT LITERATURE
2.1 NATURE OF THE CHILD’S NUTRITION,
2.2 NUTRITION FOR CHILDREN
2.3 NUTRITION EDUCATION
2.4 DETERMINANTS OF POOR NUTRITION AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS.
2.5 EFFECTS OF POOR NUTRITIONAL NEEDS ON PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE.
2.6 GOOD NUTRITIONAL PROVISION TO PUPILS WITH POOR NUTRITION
2.7 NUTRITIONAL ADVICE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS
2.8 PARENTS RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS PUPILS WITH POOR NUTRITION.
2.9 SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER
3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN
3.2 STUDY AREA
3.3 SOURCES OF DATA
3.4 POPULATION OF THE STUDY
3.5 SAMPLE SIZE DETERMINATION
3.7 RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY OF INSTRUMENT
3.8 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
DATA PRESENATATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.1 DATA PRESENTATION
4.2 DATA ANALYSIS
4.3 DATA INTERPRETATION
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
1.1 Background to the Study
A nation’s development is largely depended on the quality of education available to its citizens. Primary education is the foundation on which further education is built (Vegas and Petrow, 2008). Primary education has two main purposes. The primary aim is to produce a sane and numerate society that is capable of dealing with the problems. The second purpose is to serve as a foundation on which further education is built (Akanle, 2007).
Nutrition is a fundamental pillar of human life, health and development across the entire life span (FAO/WHO, 1992). From the earliest stages of foetal development, at birth, through infancy, childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood and old age, proper food and good nutrition are essential for survival, physical growth, mental development, performance and productivity, health and well-being (WHO, 2000). Evidence has shown that four (4 )% of the total children born in developing countries die of malnutrition before they are five years old (Toriola, 1990) and that the most affected are usually the children of illiterate parents in low socio-economic status that have low purchasing power in the economy (Adekunle, 2005). Studies have shown that poor feeding and or recurrent infections as a result of poverty leads to stunted growth, substantial brain impairment, low intellectual competence and capacity to learn in children (Kerr et al., 2000; Ivanovic et al., 2002; Chang et al., 2002; Braveman and Gruskin, 2003; Liu et al., 2003; Adebisi, 2013).
Strong evidence exists that poor feeding practices are associated with stunted growth and delayed mental development (Mendez and Adair, 1999); and that there is a relationship between impaired growth status and both poor school performance and intelligence quotient (PAHO, 1998). The relationship between timely and quality dietary intake, brain size and academic performance has been documented (Strupp and Levitsky, 1995; Florey et al., 1995), and that a significant correlation exists between head circumference and intelligence quotient (1Q). This is an indication that there is difference in human brain size which could be relevant in explaining the differences in intelligence and academic performance, although genetic and environmental factors like socio-economic, socio-cultural and psychological factors could be direct or indirect co-determinants of both intelligence and school performance (Vernon et al., 2000; Wickett et al., 2000).
Head circumference is a physical index of both past nutrition and brain development and a good predictor of later intelligence of a child (Botting et al., 1998). Traditionally, family status variables such as socio-economic status and parents' level of education have been regarded as predictors of children's academic achievement (Joan, 2009). Head circumference (HC) has been defined as an anthropometric indicator of both nutritional background and brain development (Ivanovic et al., 2004). Findings by other authors reveal that poor prenatal and postnatal HC growth results in poor outcomes in terms of the acquisition of cognitive and academic abilities by the child, and this group is followed by those children with prenatal brain compromise but satisfactory postnatal HC growth (Frisk et al., 2002).
Low maternal education is associated with slower fetal growth, and this effect appears to be stronger for growth of the head than for growth of other organs (Silva et al., 2010). Maternal intelligence quotient, home environment, ethnicity, and family size have been described as important predictors of child intelligence quotient (Cornelius et al., 2009). A 1-cm decrease in HC predicted a 1-point decrease in the Stanford–Binet composite score (Cornelius et al., 2009). Mother‘s educational background, gestational age, and HC at age 2 years could explain the achievement of appropriate schooling at age 8 years (Charkaluk et al., 2011). Findings by other authors suggest that abnormal brain development after prenatal injury or postnatal nutritional deficits are responsible for cognitive deficits in preterm children (Abernethy et al., 2004). For all age and sex groups, Head circumference (HC) has been defined as an anthropometric indicator of both nutritional background and brain development (Ochiai et al., 2008). However, this study seeks to examine nutritional status of primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nutritional deprivation in children negatively impacts the attainment of their full growth potential and mental development. Many children, especially in developing countries, are however deprived of a balanced nutrition which is a basic human need. The United Nations World Food Program documented that 66million children go to school hungry every day in these developing countries, with up to 23 million in Africa alone. Globally, up to 400 million children have to go to bed hungry. Nutritional deprivation with consequent under nutrition which is an underlying factor in about 50% of childhood mortalities worldwide, thus, still remains a cause for public health concern. Within the last decade, the health of hitherto ignored school aged children has come up on the global agenda. Their nutritional status has been shown to be prime in achieving health as under nutrition negatively affects cognition, immune response (with increased risk of morbidity and mortality from disease) and growth with a long term effect on the quality of life, contribution to the workforce and economy of any nation.
Food security which is the ability to obtain safe, nutritious foods in socially acceptable and sustainable ways is important as children who frequently experience food insecurity are more likely to experience hunger and under nutrition. Africa’s indigenous foods are healthy and nutritious but unfortunately, diets offered to many children in developing countries are noted to often lack in variety, which is a key to specific optimal nutrient adequacy. Peculiar feeding characteristics of different African populations thus need to be studied to document area specific feeding patterns as a prelude to measures that will correct inappropriate and inadequate feeding practices. There is a paucity of data on the feeding pattern of children in the area of study. This study is thus important for evidence on food security or otherwise, and the health of the index population, with consideration of possible factors that may influence the status. The outcome of this study is expected to draw attention to the needs of school children in public schools for targeted interventional policies.
1.3 Research Objectives
The general objective or main objective of this study is to examine nutritional status of primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria. The specific objectives are:
i) To assess the influence of nutritional status on academic performance of primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State
ii) To investigate the influence of anthropometric parameters on academic performance of of primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State
iii) To study the influence of parental social economic status on academic performance of primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What is the influence of nutritional status on academic performance of primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State?
ii) What is the influence of anthropometric parameters on academic performance of primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State?
iii) What is the influence of parental social economic status on academic performance of primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the conduct of this study;
i) There is no significant difference between academic performance of the school children and nutritional status.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is therefore hoped that results of this study will assist parents and other stakeholders in understanding the influence of some anthropometric parameters on academic performance of these pupils. This will also help policy makers in the design and implementation of nutrition education program at primary school level. The study will create a data base on the influence of some anthropometric parameters and social status on academic performance of primary school children within Ikorodu metropolis.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study shall be carried out among the primary school children in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State. Teachers from Ewuren Community LEA Primary School shall be selected for this study.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The researcher encountered some challenges in the course of carrying out the field work and these challenges were the constraints that worked against the optimal realization of what I am set out to achieve. These challenges include:
Time: Students did not have enough time to respond to the questionnaire because they were in a hurry to attend one of their compulsory lessons and this will not allow the researcher to get the adequate information needed from the research instrument.
Communication: It was observed that some of the students find it difficult to interpret the questionnaire so there was need for an interpreter to conduct the survey.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Nutritional status: Refers to the physical well-being of the child in weight and height.
Socio-demographic factors: These include age, gender, birth order, etc.NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN
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