Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
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Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2017, 5(7), 467-474
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-5-7-3
Open AccessArticle

Nutritional Status of Pupils Attending Public Schools with and without School Feeding Programme in Hohoe Municipality, Ghana

Faith Agbozo1, 2, , Prosper Atitto1 and Abdulai Abubakari3

1Department of Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana

2Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

3Community Nutrition Department, School of Allied Health Sciences, University for Development Studies, Ghana

Pub. Date: June 19, 2017

Cite this paper:
Faith Agbozo, Prosper Atitto and Abdulai Abubakari. Nutritional Status of Pupils Attending Public Schools with and without School Feeding Programme in Hohoe Municipality, Ghana. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2017; 5(7):467-474. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-5-7-3

Abstract

At-school lunch provision through the Ghana school-feeding programme (GSFP) is a child survival, health promotion and food security intervention implemented in selected schools in all 216 districts nationwide with the nutrition objective of reducing short-term hunger and malnutrition. The study assessed the impact of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) on the nutritional status of participants. School-based cross-sectional survey using multi-stage sampling to select 417 pupils aged 3-12 years enrolled in 14 public basic schools with (n=133) and without (n=304) school feeding programme in the seven sub-districts of the Hohoe municipality, Ghana. Data was collected between January-April 2015 through face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire with assistance from teachers/guardians. Weight, height and mid upper-arm circumference were measured and used to generate underweight, stunting, thinness and obesity using WHO Antroplus and STATA 12.1. Mutually-adjusted simple and multinomial logistic regressions were done to determine association between the explanatory and dependent variables. Overall, 15.6% underweight, 9.8% stunting, 4.3% thinness and 5.5% overweight prevalence were observed. Between beneficiary and non-beneficiary pupils, there were no statistically significant differences in underweight (12.4% vs. 16.8%), stunting (13.3% vs. 8.6%), thinness (1.8% vs. 5.3%) and overweight (3.5% vs. 5.6%) respectively. Most of the explanatory variables including provision of schools meals were not significantly associated with the nutritional status indicators. Pupils in lower primary had increase odds for underweight (AOR; 3.0, 95% CI; 1.4-6.6, p=0.006) while those residing in rural areas were five folds more likely to be stunted (AOR; 5.3, 95%CI; 1.3-21.6, p=0.021). Prevalence of malnutrition was lower among beneficiaries but there were no statistical significant differences in anthropometry between schools with and without feeding programme. Findings suggest that the school feeding programme could marginally improve nutritional status of beneficiaries.

Keywords:
school feeding programme Ghana nutritional status anthropometry school meals school age children malnutrition

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