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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32-37

Influence of home-grown school feeding on nutritional status of schoolchildren: Findings from South-West Nigeria

1 Clinical Nursing Unit, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile Ife, Nigeria
2 Department of Nursing Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria
4 Department of Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A A Ogunfowokan
Department of Nursing Science, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njhs.njhs_8_22

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Background: Improving the nutritional status of schoolchildren is one of the aims of home-grown school feeding programme (HGSFP) which has been implemented in some schools in Nigeria Objective: The study assessed the prevalence of stunting, wasting and overweight amongst home-grown school-fed (HGSF) and non-HGSF (N-HGSF) elementary school children; identified the gender differences in the nutritional status of HGSF and N-HGSF children and compared the nutritional indices of HGSF children and N-HGSF children at baseline, 3 months and 6 months. Methods: The study employed a longitudinal design and was conducted in South-west Nigeria amongst 500 elementary school children aged 5–7 years. The height and weight of each child were measured longitudinally at three waves (baseline, 3 months and 6 months). The data were analysed using the WHO AnthroPlus software and SPSS version 20. Statistical differences were determined using the repeated measures analysis of variance and paired-wise t-test. Results: The mean age of the children was 5.6 ± 0.67 and 6.2 ± 0.77 for the HGSF and N-HGSF groups, respectively. At baseline, there were more stunted children in the N-HGSF children (44.4%) than the HGSF children (22%), but wasting (12%) and underweight (23.2%) were higher in the HGSF children. Furthermore, more males in the N-HGSF children were wasted (9.9%) and stunted (51.1%) compared to their female counterparts. However, there were no observable percentage sex differences amongst the children in the HGSF group, except that there were more females (12.8%) who were wasted compared to their male counterparts (11.3%). The findings for the wasting indicator revealed no statistically significant relationship between the HGSFP and wasting (P = 0.30, F = 1.075, η2=0.002). The findings showed a statistically significant relationship between HGSFPs and reduction in underweight (P = 0.001, F = 23.847, η2 = 0.046) and stunting (P = 0.04, F = 4.083, η2 = 0.008). Furthermore, the impact of feeding was observed in the HGSF children of both genders as there was an improvement in the nutritional status of both male and female children at 6 months. Conclusion: There was an improvement in the nutritional status of the children in the HGSF group compared to the N-HGSF children at both 3 and 6 months. A significant improvement in underweight and stunting was observed at 6 months than at 3 months.

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