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Nutritional Status and School Achievements in a Rural Area of Anti-Atlas, Morocco

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Author(s): Mohamed El Hioui | Fatima-Zahra Azzaoui | Ahmed Omar Touhami Ahami | Youssef Aboussaleh

Journal: Food and Nutrition Sciences
ISSN 2157-944X

Volume: 02;
Issue: 08;
Start page: 878;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Nutritional Status | Undernutrition | School Achievements and Morocco

ABSTRACT
Nutritional status is the best indicator of the global well-being of children. However, malnutrition affects physical growth, cognitive development, physical work capacity, and it consequently influences human performance and health. The present study was designed to identify factors that may influence the nutritional status and educational achievements of the children in a rural area of ANTI Atlas of Morocco. The nutritional status of 162 children (12 to 15 years of age) was assessed by nutritional anthropometry and compared with tables of weight-for-age and height-for-age z-scores (WAZ and HAZ) identifying wasting and stunting, respectively. A questionnaire was developed to collect information about socio-economic and demographic status of the children’s families. Also, educational achievements were assessed by their score in mathematics. A total of 162 children (64 boys and 98 girls), aged 12 –15 years. Results revealed 22.8% of stunting and 35.2% of wasting. Child age (p = 0.027), illiteracy of the mother (p = 0.004) was determinant factors with wasting. Stunting was significantly associated with gender (p = 0.03) and parents’ employment (p = 0.009). However, using logistic regression analysis, the results showed that stunting (p = 0.04) and mother level of education (p = 0.032) were significantly correlated with school achievements.In this area of study, malnutrition remains a major problem among adolescents’ school performances, which can affect their future. The main causes of malnutrition seem to be the bad weaning practices among school children and cultural attitudes of food. The educational achievements of school children are influenced by maternal education and stunting.
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