International Journal of Science and Healthcare Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2016 | Month: July-September | Volume: 1 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 53-63

Prevalence and Determinants of Adolescent Malnutrition in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

Chukwuma B. Duru1, Anthony C. Iwu2, Kenechi A. Uwakwe1, Kevin C. Diwe1, Chinomnso C. Nnebue3, Irene A. Merenu1, Kinsley Achigbu4, Henry N. Chineke1

1Department of Community Medicine, Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
2Department of Community Medicine, Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu Imo State, Nigeria.
3Dept of HIV Care and Community Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria.
4Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Federal Medical Centre Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.

Corresponding Author: Chukwuma B. Duru


Background: Adolescence is a transitional period of rapid growth and increased nutrient demand and also, a window of opportunity to correct existing nutritional problems inherited from childhood; but unfortunately, it appears that, the least attention in terms of nutritional interventions is given to the adolescents.
Objective: To determine the prevalence and determinants of adolescent malnutrition in Owerri, Imo State. Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional descriptive design using a multistage sampling technique, was used to select 504 adolescents aged 10-19 years old from both public and private secondary schools in Owerri municipal Local Government Area. Data was collected using a pretested semi structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was carried out using computer software (SPSS version 20). Chi square statistics were computed to determine significant relationships while multiple logistic regressions were used to determine the predictors of adolescent malnutrition. P value was set at 0.05 significant level.
Results: The results revealed that 18.6% and 11.6% of adolescents were underweight and overweight/obese respectively and that a majority of the respondents (89.6%) had a poor to fair level of knowledge about overweight and obesity. There were statistically significant relationships between adolescent nutritional status and age of adolescents (p=0.000), gender (p=0.004), religion (p=0.010), caregiver (p=0.000), occupation of the caregiver (p=0.000), class level in school (p=0.000) and birth position of the adolescent in the household (p=0.000). It was further revealed that adolescents aged 14-16 and 17-19 years old, who were first born, female, with orthodox religious background and are senior students in school were significantly more likely to be overweight/obese than underweight. (p<0.05)
Conclusion: There should be an increased focus on adolescent nutrition and as a consequence, accessible, appropriate and effective integrated nutritional strategies should be developed to tackle the increasing malnutrition problems facing the adolescent.

Keywords: Prevalence, determinants, malnutrition, adolescents, Owerri, Nigeria.

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