Mojishola Ehinlola (PhD), Professor M. A. Sulaiman, Professor V. Dashe, Professor Umaru Musa


Child malnutrition remains a significant public health concern in sub-Saharan Africa, with Nigeria bearing a substantial burden. Northwest Nigeria characterized by high poverty rates and limited access to resources, presents a particularly challenging environment for ensuring adequate child nutrition. Feeding practices and patterns play a crucial role in influencing dietary intake and nutritional status. This study aimed to investigate the association between feeding practices and patterns and the nutritional status of primary school children aged 6-12 years in northwest Nigeria. A cross-sectional study design was employed. A multistage sampling technique was used to choose a representative sample of 700 children from primary schools across four states in northwest Nigeria. Data were collected through questionnaires administered to both children and parents/guardians. The questionnaires assessed child demographics, family information, socioeconomic status, dietary practices (including frequency of consumption of various food groups), and feeding patterns (e.g., meal frequency, portion sizes). Anthropometric measurements of height and weight were taken for each child. Nutritional status was assessed using World Health Organization (WHO) growth reference data to identify underweight, stunting, and wasting. The study anticipates that inadequate feeding practices and unhealthy dietary patterns will be associated with a higher prevalence of malnutrition among primary school children in northwest Nigeria. Children with infrequent consumption of fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods are likely to have poorer nutritional status compared to those with more diverse diets. Additionally, irregular meal schedules or insufficient portion sizes may contribute to inadequate nutrient intake and compromise growth and development. This study will contribute to a deeper understanding of the relationship between feeding practices and patterns and child nutritional status in northwest Nigeria. The findings can inform targeted interventions aimed at promoting healthy feeding behaviors, improving dietary diversity, and ultimately reducing child malnutrition in this vulnerable population.


Feeding pattern, Feeding practice, Nutritional status, Primary school children, Malnutrition, Northwest Nigeria.

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