Anthropometric assessment of school age children in Addis Ababa.Ethiop Med J. 2006 Oct; 44(4):347-52.EM
Malnutrition is a major health problem in children. There are several studies of anthropometry among under-five children. However, there is scarcity of data on the nutritional status among school children and adolescents in Ethiopia as else where in developing countries.
The objective of the study is to assess the nutritional status of school age children in Addis Ababa.
The study design is a cross sectional anthropometric survey conducted among School age children. Anthropometric measurements were taken in 1208 children using standard measurement techniques. The NCHS reference data on height and body mass index (BMI) were used to estimate age-specific prevalence of stunting, thinness, and overweight.
Using the 5th percentile of the NCHS reference data, the prevalence of thinness was 28.4% for boys and 20.4% for girls; the average being 24%. The prevalence of stunting (<3rd centile) was 13.8% for boys and 6.2% for girls with an average of 9.8% for both sexes. The prevalence of overweight was 3.3%.
Thinness and stunting were shown to have low prevalence in the study group, a level which is lower than the prevalence in some developing countries. Further epidemiological study is required to better determine the true magnitude of the problem.