Stunting and Its Associated Factors among Early Adolescent School Girls of Gondar Town, Northwest Ethiopia: A School-Based Cross-Sectional Study.Biomed Res Int. 2020; 2020:8850074.BR
Stunting is a crucial indicator of long-term chronic undernutrition that reflects a failure to reach a linear growth. Adolescent girls are potentially at a higher risk of stunting as they are traditionally married at an early age in low-income countries. In Ethiopia, stunting has mostly been examined in early childhood, with limited information at the early adolescent age. Therefore, this study is aimed at determining the prevalence of stunting and its associated factors among early adolescent school girls age 10 to 14 in Gondar town.
We conducted a school-based cross-sectional study. A multistage sampling method was used to sample 662 adolescent girls in selected primary schools. A pretested, structured, and interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect the required data. Stata Version 14 and WHO Anthro-plus software were used to analyze the data. The bivariable and multivariable logistic regression model was fitted to identify factors associated with stunting. Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated, and a p value ≤ 0.05 was considered to declare statistically significant variables.
The prevalence of stunting was 27.5% [95% CI: 25.5%-29.5%]. The odds of stunting were found to be higher among grade 5 students [AOR; 95% CI: 1.90; 1.13-3.20], those who reported a daily meal frequency of less than three [AOR; 95% CI: 2.37; 1.60-3.50], and those who were from food-insecure families [AOR; 95% CI: 2.52; 1.70-3.73]. Adolescent girls whose mothers were government employees [AOR; 95% CI: 0.48; 0.26-0.89] or merchants [AOR; 95% CI: 0.43; 0.28-0.67] were less likely to be stunted compared to those whose mothers were housewives.
Stunting among early adolescent girls is found to be a moderate public health problem. A school-based nutritional program might be helpful to reduce stunting in this group of adolescent girls.