Prevalence and Determinants of Stunting and Thinness/Wasting Among Schoolchildren of Ethiopia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.Food Nutr Bull. 2020 12; 41(4):474-493.FN
Several studies have been carried out assessing the prevalence of undernutrition and possible determinants among schoolchildren in Ethiopia, but there is a lack of systematically gathered and analyzed information.
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to summarize epidemiological data on undernutrition and possible determinants among schoolchildren in Ethiopia.
We conducted a systematic review using open access articles that report the prevalence of stunting and wasting/thinness among schoolchildren from PubMed Central, Scopus, and Science direct. The pooled prevalence was determined using a random-effect model while heterogeneities between studies were evaluated by I 2 test.
A total of 24 716 schoolchildren were included in the 39 eligible articles. The prevalence of stunting and wasting/thinness among schoolchildren in Ethiopia were 23.1% (95% CI: 19.0-27.0) and 22% (95% CI: 17-26), respectively. There was a marked difference in the prevalence of stunting and wasting/thinness across regions of Ethiopia. The risk of stunting was increased with meal frequency ≤3 times a day (odds ratio [OR] = 3.02, 95% CI: 1.90-4.14), age >10 years (OR = 2.16, 95% CI: 1.47-2.85), and family size ≥5 (OR = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.40-2.35). Similarly, the risk of wasting/thinness was increased with male sex (OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.54-2.58), low family income (OR = 2.16, 95% CI: 1.30-3.01), and age >10 years (OR = 1.78, 95% CI: 0.74-2.82).
This study revealed that more than one-fifth of schoolchildren are stunted or wasted/thin in Ethiopia. Large family size, male sex, and student age were consistently associated with stunting and wasting/thinness among schoolchildren. This study highlights the importance of an integrated effort to reduce undernutrition in Ethiopia.