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The Nutritional Status of School-Aged Children in an Urban Squatter Settlement in Pakistan

Author(s): Raheela M.A. Mian | Mohammed Ali | Paola A. Ferroni | Peter Underwood

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
ISSN 1680-5194

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 121;
Date: 2002;
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Keywords: School-aged | children | Pakistan | malnutrition

A study was carried out to determine the nutritional status of school-aged children living in an urban squatter settlement in Islamabad, Pakistan. 200 children were selected through systematic random sampling from 1479 children aged 5-10 years living in 1147 households. Measurement of height and body weight revealed a high prevalence of malnutrition among these children. The prevalence of underweight (< 2 standard deviations below the NCHS standard for weight-for-age) was 29.5%, wasting (< 2 SD below standard weight-for-height) 13% and stunting (< 2 SD below standard weight-for-height) 35%. Overall 44% of the children had one or more of underweight, wasting or stunting. Severe malnutrition (< 3 SD below the standard value) was present in 15.4% of the children. The prevalence of malnutrition was significantly higher among older children and those from larger, poorer households. The study recommends the inclusion of school-aged children in the Pakistan National Nutrition Survey.
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