Abstract
COMPARATIVE STUDY OF NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF ADOLESCENTS ATTENDING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ABA, ABIA STATE, NIGERIA.

*Nwoke E. A., Nkoro N. V., Ibe S. N. O., Nwufo R. C. and Nwokoro

ABSTRACT

Aims: The study was carried out to determine and compare the nutritional status of adolescnents attending public and private secondary schools in Aba, Abia State, Nigeria. Study Design: A cross-sectional study was used. Place and Duration of Study: Aba, in Abia State, Nigeria and between March to June 2016. Methodology: The sample size was 600 adolescents (Male 293, female 307) aged 10 – 19 years attending Government approved Secondary Schools in Aba. Anthropometric measurements of height and weight were taken from each participant and were converted to nutritional indices (BMI-for-age and height-for-age) percentile of World Heath Organization/National Center for Health statistics reference standard. A standard questionnaire was used to collect data on socioeconomic status of the adolescents’ parents. Results: The mean nutritional indices (underweight and stunting) were found to be much lower among adolescents attending public schools as compared to those in private schools. The overall prevalence of underweight and stunting were as follows: 21%, 7% for boys in private schools and for the boys in Public schools, it was 52% and 25%. For the girls in private schools, it was 4%, 9% and for those in public school, it was 18% and 34% respectively. There was a significant difference in the height, weight and BMI-for-age of adolescents attending public and private schools in Aba (P<0.05). Education and occupation, except family size of the parents have a positive significance on the nutritional status of adolescents attending public and private schools in Aba. (P<0.05). Conclusion: The study showed poorer nutritional status among adolescents in public secondary schools than those in private schools. Hence a periodical and regular health check-up with concerted efforts towards their nutrition along with focused health education will improve the health and nutritional status of school going adolescents especially those in public secondary schools in Aba, Abia State, Nigeria.

Keywords: Comparative, Study, Nutritional Status, Adolescents, Public, Private, Secondary, Schools.


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