oa South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - Nutrition knowledge and nutritional status of primary school children in QwaQwa : original research
Objectives : To determine the nutrition knowledge and nutritional status of primary school children attending a purposively selected school in rural QwaQwa.
Setting : A purposively selected public school (n = 540) in QwaQwa.
Subjects : A convenience sample of all 142 school pupils, aged from nine to thirteen years.
Outcome measures : The measuring instruments included a nutrition knowledge questionnaire to determine the current nutrition knowledge, and a 24-hour recall to determine food and nutrient intakes. Anthropometric measurements included weight and height, measured using standard methodologies.
Results : The mean age of the respondents was 11.2 years, and all had deficient intakes of all the nutrients, except for protein, carbohydrates and thiamine. However, 53.1%, 17.1% and 14.3% of the respondents did not meet 100% of EAR for protein, carbohydrates and thiamine respectively. The anthropometric results indicated that 2.8% of the total group of respondents was severely stunted, and that 11.3% were stunted. The BMI-for-age indicated that 12.0% were overweight, and more so among the girls (15.7%) than the boys (8.3%). The respondents showed average nutrition knowledge in the majority of the questions.
Conclusions : This study observed malnutrition and average nutrition knowledge, with many gaps relating to aspects, such as the role of the various food groups in the diet and safe hygiene practices.
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