Nutritional and developmental status among 6- to 8-month-old children in southwestern Uganda: a cross-sectional study

  • Grace K.M. Muhoozi Department of Nutrition and Home Economics, Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda
  • Prudence Atukunda University of Oslo
  • Robert Mwadime Community Connector FHI 360
  • Per Ole Iversen Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo
  • Ane C. Westerberg Institute of Health Sciences, Kristiania University College, Oslo
Keywords: Child growth, child development, Cognitive function, Uganda, Undernutrition

Abstract

Background: Undernutrition continues to pose challenges to Uganda’s children, but there is limited knowledge on its association with physical and intellectual development.

Objective: In this cross-sectional study, we assessed the nutritional status and milestone development of 6- to 8-month-old children and associated factors in two districts of southwestern Uganda.

Design: Five hundred and twelve households with mother–infant (6–8 months) pairs were randomly sampled. Data about background variables (e.g. household characteristics, poverty likelihood, and child dietary diversity scores (CDDS)) were collected using questionnaires. Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (BSID III) and Ages and Stages questionnaires (ASQ) were used to collect data on child development. Anthropometric measures were used to determine z-scores for weight-for-age (WAZ), length-for-age (LAZ), weight-for-length (WLZ), head circumference (HCZ), and mid-upper arm circumference. Chi-square tests, correlation coefficients, and linear regression analyses were used to relate background variables, nutritional status indicators, and infant development.

Results: The prevalence of underweight, stunting, and wasting was 12.1, 24.6, and 4.7%, respectively. Household head education, gender, sanitation, household size, maternal age and education, birth order, poverty likelihood, and CDDS were associated (p<0.05) with WAZ, LAZ, and WLZ. Regression analysis showed that gender, sanitation, CDDS, and likelihood to be below the poverty line were predictors (p<0.05) of undernutrition. BSID III indicated development delay of 1.3% in cognitive and language, and 1.6% in motor development. The ASQ indicated delayed development of 24, 9.1, 25.2, 12.2, and 15.1% in communication, fine motor, gross motor, problem solving, and personal social ability, respectively. All nutritional status indicators except HCZ were positively and significantly associated with development domains. WAZ was the main predictor for all development domains.

Conclusion: Undernutrition among infants living in impoverished rural Uganda was associated with household sanitation, poverty, and low dietary diversity. Development domains were positively and significantly associated with nutritional status. Nutritional interventions might add value to improvement of child growth and development.

Keywords: child development; child growth; Uganda; undernutrition

(Published: 27 May 2016)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2016, 60: 30270 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v60.30270

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Author Biographies

Prudence Atukunda, University of Oslo
Department of Nutrition
Robert Mwadime, Community Connector FHI 360

Guest lecturer

Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Makerere University

Per Ole Iversen, Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo

Professor

Department of Hematology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Ane C. Westerberg, Institute of Health Sciences, Kristiania University College, Oslo

Associate Professor

Institute of Health Sciences, Kristiania University College, Oslo

Published
2016-05-27
How to Cite
1.
Muhoozi G, Atukunda P, Mwadime R, Iversen P, Westerberg A. Nutritional and developmental status among 6- to 8-month-old children in southwestern Uganda: a cross-sectional study. fnr [Internet]. 2016May27 [cited 2019Jun.25];600. Available from: https://foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/1013
Section
Original Articles