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Growth evaluation of a group of children enrolled in public schools in Rabat, Morocco: the role of socioeconomic factors

Authors Dekkaki IC, Ettair S, Meskini T, Khalloufi N, Mouane N, Barkat A

Received 3 January 2013

Accepted for publication 10 April 2013

Published 27 September 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 765—771


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

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Imane Cherkaoui Dekkaki,1 Said Ettair,1 Toufik Meskini,1 Nabil Khalloufi,2 Nezha Mouane,1 Amina Barkat2

1Unité de Pédagogie et de Recherche en Nutrition, 2CRECET, Université Mohammed V, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie de Rabat, Souissi, Rabat, Morocco

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of underweight, stunting, and the socioeconomic risk factors among children enrolled in primary public schools in Rabat, Morocco.
Methods: Twenty-three schools were randomly selected. A cross-sectional study was conducted between April and June 2010. The survey was conducted on the basis of two questionnaires for both parents and children. The references used were from the World Health Organization, 2007.
Results: Our study focused on a sample of 1569 children whose average age was 9.7 ± 0.95 years. The prevalence of underweight among girls and boys was 43.1%, while that of stunting was 18.2%. The majority of the children in our population come from a low socioeconomic level. While 59% of fathers are laborers, 85% of mothers are unemployed.
Conclusion: In our study, we demonstrated that child malnutrition is strongly linked to a low socioeconomic level. These observations suggest that besides income, schooling and food quality may also be important factors that can affect growth. Educational programs, whether held in schools or informally, such as literacy or parenting classes, are valuable complements to other nutrition sustaining activities.

Keywords: underweight, stunting, malnutrition, children, low socioeconomic level

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