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Predictors of thinness and improved dietary diversity among School Aged Children in Southern Ethiopia

Authors Wolde T, Belachew T

Received 3 July 2019

Accepted for publication 27 September 2019

Published 7 November 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 49—58


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chandrika Piyathilake

Tsedeke Wolde, Tefera Belachew

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Public Health, Institute of Health, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Tsedeke Wolde
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Public Health, Institute of Health, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia
Tel +251910-9430-69

Introduction: Thinness and lack of diversified foods are common nutritional problems among children in developing countries. There is limited evidence on the level of thinness, and dietary among school aged children in Ethiopia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of thinness and adequate dietary diversity and their predictors among primary schools.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Meskan District of Southern Ethiopia, from October 11 to November 3, 2016. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 408 school age children. Data on sociodemographic, and anthropometric variables were collected using structured and trained interviewer administered questionnaires and anthropometrists, respectively. Body-mass-index-for-age z-scores for thinness were computed using WHO AnthroPlus, and dietary diversity score was generated using 24-hour recall dietary data. Both bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were done to identify factors associated with thinness and dietary diversity. A p-value <0.05 was used to declare the significance of association.
Results: The prevalence of thinness was 10.1% (95% CI=7.1–13). Children who lived in urban areas were 65% less likely to be thin (AOR=0.35; 95% CI=0.13-0.93) compared to those who lived in rural areas after controlling for other variables. The proportion of children who met minimum dietary diversity was 27.5% (95% CI=23–32). Children living in households with rich wealth index Terciles  (AOR=1.88; 95% CI=1.09–3.21) and children living in urban areas (AOR=2.38; 95% CI=1.28–4.39) were twice more likely to have  adequate dietary diversity compared to their counter parts.&#x00A0
Discussion: The prevalence of thinnessn is less common in the study area when compared to the prevalence reported by other studies in developing countries. Residence of children was associated with thinness. The practice of having diversified diet was low among children . Rich family wealth status and place of residence were significantly associated with adequate dietary diversity. Hence, targeted interventions that focus on rural children and household socioeconomic status are needed to improve dietary diversity and nutritional status.

Keywords: Dietary diversity, school age children, thinness, South Ethiopia

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