Double Burden of Malnutrition: Evidence from a Selected Nigerian Population
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Indices reflecting the double burden of malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa are increasing. Evidence to support this claim in households of Africa's most populous country-Nigeria-is scant. This study, therefore, presents results from a study of mother-child pairs sampled from Akwa Ibom State in the southern region of Nigeria. Anthropometric measures for 660 mother-child pairs were collected according to standard procedures. Indices were expressed as the standard deviation of units from the median for the reference group. Chi-square analysis was used to test significant differences in proportion, andp<0.05was taken as significant. A total of 37.4% of the children were stunted out of which 19.8% were moderately stunted, and 17.6% were severely stunted. Prevalence of wasting was 13.1%, 6.2% were moderately wasted, and 6.9% were severely wasted. Mean maternal body mass index was (23.54 +/- 4.60) kgm(2). 9.0% were underweight mothers, 23.2% were overweight, and 9.3% were obese. The co-existence of undernutrition among children and overnutrition in women of child-bearing age is prevalent in this population. We recommend that more effort be placed on active nutrition surveillance to ascertain malnutrition prevalence and periodically reassess priority challenges.
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