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|Title: ||Malnutrition and the Intelligence Quotient of Primary School Pupils in Jos, Nigeria|
|Authors: ||Adedeji, I. A.|
Okolo, S. N.
Ebonyi, A. O.
Bashir, M. F.
|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
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,
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
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
|Appears in Collections:||Paediatrics|
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