Nutritional status among children aged 5-14 years in Rubirizi district: Distribution and associated factors.
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Introduction; At the age of 5-18 years, children undergo a dynamic period of active physical growth and mental development yet research reveals that poor nutritional status affects this stage. This has profound short and long-term consequences in their childhood and or later in adulthood hence necessitating high health costs onto the individual, family and the country at large. In 2011, Uganda demographic and Health survey indicated 6% and 16.7 %as estimates of under-nutrition and over nutrition among children, respectively. However, the related predictors of the nutritional status among children aged 5-14 years were not well known. Broad objective; This study, therefore, a cross-sectional survey was to estimate nutritional status (overweight and underweight) distribution and assess their corresponding predictors among children aged 5-14 years in Rubirizi district located in Western Uganda. Methodology; Multistage sampling method was used to attain a random sample of 386 children from 128 households. Children’s anthropometric measurements of weight and height were attained using a calibrated Seca weighing scale and height meter respectively. The children’s caregivers were interviewed face-to-face using pre tested questionnaires. The data was then entered in Epidata and analyzed using Stata/SE 14.0. Body-mass-index-for-age Z-scores were calculated based on World Health Organisation standard measures. Descriptive statistics were used to generate the nutritional status distribution, whereas multinomial logistic regression was used to determine the predictors of nutritional status. Results; Distribution of nutritional status among the studied children was 6.2% and 25.4%, underweight and overweight respectively. Underweight was higher among rural residents (RRR=1.26, 95%CI= 0.54-2.90) while lower among urban residents relative to normal weight (RRR=0.76, 95%CI= 0.48-2.90) . The sex of the child and a child mainly having sedentary behaviours was found to be associated with overweight relative to normal weight. A child having diarrhoea in the previous 30 days of the study increased the likelihood of being underweight relative to normal weight. Conclusion; Overweight prevalence appears to be high among children aged 5-14 and there also appears to be a considerate number of underweight children in Uganda. Providing avenues for addressing underweight such as improved sanitation to reduce diarrhoea episodes and other behavioural information changes are needed particularly in rural communities. In addition, children interventions aimed at reducing overweight among children particularly those who reside in urban area are also needed.