Assessment of Anthropometry, Nutritional Compositions and Contribution of School Meals to the Daily Nutrient Requirements of Primary School Children from Rural Communities

  • Ijarotimi O. Steve (Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology) ;
  • Omotayo S. Amos (Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology)
  • Published : 2006.12.31


The study aims to evaluate the nutritional status and influence of school meal intakes on RDA of primary school children in Akure community, Ondo State, Nigeria. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 728 primary school children aged between 6 and 15 years. Data were collected using interviewer-administered semi-structured questionnaires. The questionnaires collect information on demographic characteristics and home dietary intake of the subjects. The heights and weights of the children were measured using a standard procedure and height-far-age and weight-far-height z-score were determined. The children's school meal intakes were weighed for 4 days and samples were collected for chemical analysis. The results showed that 37.8% of the children were not wasted, 35.7% mildly wasted, 18.7% moderately wasted and 7.8% severely wasted. Also, 57.8% were not stunted, 29.3% mildly stunted, 11.0% moderately stunted and 1.9% were severely stunted. The subjects' home dietary intakes showed that 73.6% ate starchy food only, 19.9% ate protein based food, while 11.6% and 11.5% consumed fruits/vegetables and snacks to complement home meals respectively. The chemical composition of school meal was energy 379 - 413kcal, moisture content 5.9 -7.3g, carbohydrate 56.5 - 69.4g, fat 4.6 - 12.7g, crude fiber 0.1 - 2.4g, ash content 3.6 - 8.5g and protein 14.9 - 22.3g. The mineral contents were calcium 45.9 - 59.2mg, sodium 5004 - 59.6mg, zinc 2.3 - 3.1mg, magnesium 55.0 - 61.6mg, potassium 55.3 - 69.3mg, copper 0.2 - 0.3 mg, while others 1.3 - 1.9mg, 243 - 659mg and 831 - 9,510mg were iron, phosphorous and vitamin-A respectively. The contribution of school meals to subjects' RDA was within 2.9% and 1540%. In summary, school meal intake contributed positively to the RDA and nutritional status of the school children.


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