n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The interaction between socioeconomic status, nutrition and growth of socially disadvantaged children living in the Western Cape, South Africa - : growth and development

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the interaction between socio-economic status, nutrition and growth of socially disadvantaged children living in the Western Cape, South Africa. 720 boys and girls were randomly selected from a township in Cape Town, South Africa, which consisted of low cost and informal houses. Socio-economic status (SES) was obtained by means of a questionnaire that focused on the education, income, and occupations of the parents of the participants and the accommodation in which they were reared. Nutrition was estimated by means of a repeated 24-hour recall method. Anthropometric measures were obtained according to protocols of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK). The parents of the children generally had low levels of education and income and their SES was found to be low. The children showed impaired growth when compared to NCHS reference data. Height and weight were significantly related to SES. The participants' diets were mainly carbohydrate-based. Although protein intake was sufficient it was mainly plant-based. Regression analysis showed a positive interaction between diet and growth. The results of this study demonstrated the poverty, low socio-economic status and mal- and under-nourishment experienced by the children in this area. It further highlighted the relationship between socio-economic status and nutrition and growth.

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