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Title: Malnutrition and the Intelligence Quotient of Primary School Pupils in Jos, Nigeria
Authors: Adedeji, I. A.
John, C.
Okolo, S. N.
Ebonyi, A. O.
Abdu, H.
Bashir, M. F.
Keywords: Association
School age
Issue Date: 1-May-2017
Publisher: British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research
Series/Report no.: Vol. 21;Iss. 2: Pp 1-13
Abstract: Background: Nigeria has one of the highest burdens of childhood malnutrition, thus, a large number of children are at risk of its far-reaching long term consequences. Although, the detrimental effect of malnutrition on the intellectual capability of children has been well documented, there is still a growing need to assess the extent of this cognitive deficit in our environment. This is with a view to providing a data base that may serve as an impetus for a more proactive attitude, geared towards the prevention of childhood malnutrition in Nigeria, and the West African sub-region in general. Aim: This study was set up to assess the relationship between the nutritional status of school children and their cognitive function. Study Design: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out among 407 randomly selected primary school pupils between the ages of six to 12 years in Jos city, Plateau State, Nigeria. Methodology: A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain socio-demographic details from the parents. Nutritional status was determined by anthropometric methods, while IQ was assessed with Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM). Results: The overall prevalence of malnutrition was 35.4%, with thinness, underweight, stunting, overweight, and obesity accounting for 11.1%, 10.7%, 10.1%, 2.9% and 0.5% respectively. Optimal IQ was recorded among 37.3%, while suboptimal IQ was documented among 62.7% of the pupils. The prevalence of suboptimal intelligence was significantly higher in the stunted and underweight pupils; 83% of the stunted and 80% of the underweight pupils had suboptimal intelligence (p=.005, p=.014 respectively). Furthermore, low socio-economic class was observed to be associated with increased prevalence of suboptimal intelligence among the undernourished children (p<0.001). Conclusion: The high prevalence of under-nutrition, its association with suboptimal intelligence, as well as the detrimental role of low socio-economic class have been demonstrated in this study. More proactive measures, which should include health education and poverty alleviation, are required towards preventing childhood malnutrition. This will allow children attain their maximum intellectual potentials.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2353
ISSN: 2231-0614
Appears in Collections:Paediatrics

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