Under nutrition and associated factors among adolescent girls attending school in the rural and urban districts of Debark, Northwest Ethiopia: A community-based comparative cross-sectional study.PLoS One. 2021; 16(8):e0254166.Plos
Adolescence is the time of puberty in which a substantial changes in physical, mental, and emotional are observed; Nutritional requirements significantly rise as a result. Even though improving adolescent girls' nutritional status helps to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition, many studies in Ethiopia focus on determining the nutritional status of under-five and pregnant women and even they don't show disparities between urban and rural adolescent girls. Thus, this study was aimed at comparing the rural and urban prevalence's of stunting and thinness and their associated factors among adolescent girls attending school in Debark district, Northwest Ethiopia, 2020.
A community-based comparative cross-sectional study was conducted among 792 adolescent girls from February 25th to March 21st 2020. A multi-stage sampling followed by simple random sampling technique was used. Data were collected through a face-to-face interviewer-based questionnaire. Different anthropometric measurements were taken. The collected data were entered to Epi-data and exported into SPSS for analyses. Variables with p-values < 0.25 in the bivariable analysis were exported to multivariable logistic regression model to control confounders and identify the factor. The strength of association and statistical significance was declared using the adjusted odds ratios with its corresponding 95% CI, and p-value ≤ 0.05 respectively.
A total of 757 adolescent girls with a response rate of 95.6% were participated in the study. The overall prevalence of stunting and thinness were 20.1% and 10.3%, respectively. Stunting among rural adolescent girls was 24.2%; whereas it was 16% among urban residents. Likewise, thinness among rural adolescent girls was 8.5%; whereas it was 12.1% among urban dwellers. No latrine [AOR: 1.95 (95% CI: 1.11, 3.43)], lowest media exposure [AOR: 5.14 (95% CI: 1.16, 22.74)], lower wealth class [AOR:2.58 (95% CI: 1.310, 5.091)], and middle wealth class[AOR: 2.37 (95% CI: 1.230, 4.554)] have risen the likelihood of stunting in rural setting while early adolescent age [AOR:3.17 (95% CI:1.445,6.95)] significantly associated with stunting in urban setting. Food insecurity [AOR: 1.95 (95% CI: 1.01, 3.78)] was associated with stunting in overall adolescent girls. Middle adolescent age groups in rural area have more than three times to experience thinness [AOR: 3.67 (95% CI: 1. 21, 11.149)]. Whereas urban resident girls fall in early adolescent age group developed thinness were eight times [AOR: 8.39 (95% CI: 2.48-28.30)].
Stunting was higher among rural adolescent girls as compared to urban. However, thinness was higher among urban dwellers. Lower wealth class, food insecurity, lowest media exposure, and age were significantly associated with stunting and thinness. Hence, increasing latrine coverage, boosting the economic status of the community, and increasing media exposure for adolescent girls should get due attention.