School Meal Nutrition Adequacy and Nutritional Status of School Children in Selected Primary Schools, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Background: School children malnutrition is unresolved public health issues especially in developing countries which creates negative intergenerational consequence as of a mother who affected by malnutrition can give birth a child with malnutrition problem and it continue the next generation too . Even though the school is a good setting to provide health and nutrition services to vulnerable school children, most of the time school-age children didn’t get a chance to be included in health and nutrition surveys. Therefore, this study is conducted to assess the adequacy of school meal and nutritional status of the children in order to do effective intervention for the most vulnerable children. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the dietary intakes and nutritional status of School Children participating in Non-Government Organization sponsored school feeding programme in three Primary Schools in Nifas Silk Lafto Sub City Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Methodology: A sample of 176 school children, aged 4-15 years was selected to conduct the study. A cross sectional survey was used to obtain data from 176 school age children and parents. The 7 days24-hour dietary recall method was used to collect data of the children’s dietary intakes. Nutrient intake adequacy analysis is done based on Ethiopia Food Composition Table, United States of Agriculture Nutrition data base and other recognized website. Children’s anthropometric measurements were taken and analysis were computed using WHO Anthro and WHO Anthro-plus software to assess the children nutritional status. Results: The result of the anthropometry assessments shows that 26% stunted; 16 % underweight; 2% overweight and 56 % normal in participated children. The result for nutrient intake adequacy revealed that Energy 59%, Protein 127 %, Fat 132%, Calcium 39%, Iron 71%, Iodine 118 %, Vitamin A 83 %, Vit.B1 95 %, Vit.B2 72 %, Vit.B3 178 % and Vit.C 232 %. This shows only calcium content is below 50 % of the RDA and Energy is inadequate, except calcium and energy the rest met the RDA % for the day. Conclusion: It can be concluded that school children nutrition status can be improved with a little efforts by providing adequate and recommended health and nutrition intervention. The school meal needs some adjustment in order to provide the meal by adding all type of food groups to keep the dietary diversity score balance.



School Children, Malnutrition, Nutrient Adequacy, Nutritional Status, Anthropometry