Socioeconomic determinants influencing nutritional status of children in Sekhukhune District of Limpopo Province in South Africa

Phooko-Rabodiba, D. A. ; Tambe, B. A. ; Nesamvuni, C. N. ; Mbhenyane, Xikombiso G. (2019)

CITATION: Phooko-Rabodiba, D. A., et al. 2019. Socioeconomic determinants influencing nutritional status of children in Sekhukhune District of Limpopo Province in South Africa. Journal of Nutrition and Health, 5(1):01-07.

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Article

South Africa has adequate food supplies to feed the entire population at national level. However, reports have shown evidence of under-nutrition among certain parts of the population due to lack of access. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between socioeconomic status of the household and the nutritional status of children one to twelve years (1-12 years) in Sekhukhune district of Limpopo Province. The study used exploratory designs. A structured interviewer-led questionnaire was used to determine socio-economic parameters and standard anthropometric procedures. All analyses were done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20. A total number of 180 mother-child pairs participated in the study. The sample distribution for children was 46.1% male and 53.9% females. Most mothers were unemployed and spent less than 500.00 ZAR (≈50 USD) per month to purchase food for the household. There was a high (39.6%) prevalence of stunting among children under the age of 60 months, a medium prevalence of underweight, and a low prevalence of wasting in all children. Most caregivers were overweight or obese. Maternal level of education and household income was significantly associated with anthropometric status indicators (p<0.05). This study revealed a high rate of unemployment, poor household income and purchasing power, and high level of food insecurity. This might have contributed to the high prevalence of stunting and a medium prevalence of underweight recorded in the study. There is urgent need to address basic needs to improve access to nutrient rich foods and health care.

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