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Research Articles

Nutritional Status of under 5 Year-Old Children and its Relationship with Maternal Nutrition Knowledge in Weeraketiya DS division of Sri Lanka

Authors:

TDR Peiris ,

Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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DGNG Wijesinghe

Department of Food Science & Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

The present study was conducted in the Weeraketiya divisional secretariat division of the Hambanthota district of Sri Lanka to determine the nutritional status of preschool children and to identify maternal knowledge regarding micronutrients and child feeding practices. The study sample consisted of 1102 families having 1219 children below 5 years of age. A population based cross-sectional study was carried out. An intervieweradministered, pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect information related to nutritional knowledge of the mother/caregiver during household visits. Heights and weights of the children were measured using properly calibrated equipment. Trained volunteers were used for taking measurements and administering the questionnaire. Nutritional status was determined using Epi Info software and data analysis was performed using the SPSS software. The prevalence of stunting (11.8%) in this community was lower than the national prevalence of stunting (18%). Prevalence of wasting (42.7%) and underweight (41.2%) was higher than national prevalence (15% and 21.6%, respectively). Wasting increased with the age and was the highest in the 49–60 month age group (50.2%). Prevalence of low birth weight (14.5%) was lower than the National average figure of 17.1%. The low birth weight had a positive relationship with the current undernutrition status of the child. Based on WHO criteria, Weeraketiya has a very high prevalence of wasting and underweight and low prevalence of stunting. Maternal educational status was not associated with the prevalence of undernutrition. Breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices were satisfactory but maternal knowledge regarding micronutrients, child feeding during illnesses and management of diarrhoea was poor. Low birth weight shared a relationship with the prevalence of wasting and underweight condition of the children in this community.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/tar.v21i4.3309

TAR 2010; 21(3): 330-339

How to Cite: Peiris, T. & Wijesinghe, D., (2011). Nutritional Status of under 5 Year-Old Children and its Relationship with Maternal Nutrition Knowledge in Weeraketiya DS division of Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research. 21(4), pp.330–339. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v21i4.3309
Published on 16 Aug 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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