Determinants of Underweight School Children in Lahore
Keywords:Underweight, School children, Demographic factors.
AbstractObjective: To determine the frequency of underweight and socio-demographic factors associated with it among school going children. Methods: A cross-sectional study with convenient sampling technique was carried out at Shalamar Medical and Dental College. Children from public and private schools of Lahore, were included in the study. Assent was taken from the participants after the consent was granted from their parents. Data was recorded on a questionnaire. Body weight and height were recorded and Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated. Children were classified as underweight and normal weight according to BMI. Student “t” test, “One way ANOVA” and “Chi-square” tests were applied to analyze the data through SPSS version 21. Results: The mean age of the participants was 12 years, 17% of school children were found to be underweight. Among underweight children, 74% belonged to middle and 20% to low socioeconomic class, and 50% had illiterate parents. There was significantly greater prevalence of underweight among girls (78%) than boys. Children belonging to pre-adolescent age group (6-11 years), low socioeconomic status, taking 1-2 meals per day, having illiterate parents and sleeping for >10 hours per day had significantly (p<0.05) less BMI were underweight. Significant association was also observed with age, gender, parent’s education, and sleeping hours in underweight school children. Conclusion: Frequency of underweight school children in Lahore was 17%. Female sex, parent’s education, and more sleeping hours were significantly associated with underweight.
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