Relationship Between Nutritional Status and Mental Development of Children in Elka Na Mataramofa, East Showa

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Addis Abeba Universty


Malnutrition is one of the major problem in the world particularly in developing countries and it is endemic in Ethiopia. Different studies have showed that severe malnutrition during infancy negatively affects mental development. Most malnutrition begins in the second year of life, and most of it is chronic and mild to moderate in severity. This is why the current study is looking at even mildly malnourished children 1 - 4 years of age. To assess the mental development of children in relation to their nutritional status , 111 children 12 - 42 months of age from a single peasant association were taken in this study. From these children 49.5% were under weight , 52.2% were stunted and 9.9% were wasted. The mean Bayley score was 88 and SD 13. Most (71.2%) scored 76 - 101. The mean Bayley score between those stunted and non-stunted showed a significant difference. Multiple linear regression also showed H/A significantly related to mental development. In addition to nutritional status, birth order and delivery events were shown to have strong relation to mental development. Therefore we recommend an extensive health education on nutrition, expansion of delivery services to the rural population and further research on mental development of children with emphasis on the effect of family interaction and child rearing practice on mental development.



Relationship Between Nutritional Status