Nutritional Assessment Among Primary School Children In Basrah City


  • Rasha Ahmed Abdul-Qader M.B.Ch.B, F.I.B.M.S Lecturer in Family Medicine, Department of Community Medicine College of Medicine, University of Basrah
  • Asaad Q. Taha Al-Yassen M.B.Ch.B, MSc. Assistant professor of dermatoepidemiology & occupational health Department of Community Medicine,College of Medicine, University of Basrah


Nutritional assessment, school children, Basrah


Background:  Nutritional assessment is the process used to evaluate  nutritional status, identify disorders of nutrition, and determine which individuals need nutritional instruction and/or nutritional support. Objective: The aim of this study was directed to estimate the prevalence of malnutrition in primary school children in Basrah city. Method:  A cross sectional study involving 240 children (107 males and 133 females), drawn from four primary public school in different area of Basrah city. The data were collected from 26th. of March to 16th. of April 2006. Nutritional status was determined by international cut off points. Results: Out of the 240 children, 83 (34.6%) were under weight, 13(5.4%)  were overweight. Majority of the children were within normal height 205(85.4%), 22(9.2%) were stunted. Ninety three (38.8%) were under weight with a BMI less than  5th percentile and the percentage of underweight was  higher among boys than girls ( 43.0% & 35.3% respectively ). Only 17 (7.1%) of the study children were overweight with a BMI between 85th percentile to less than 95th percentile. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the majority of children were within normal weight, height and BMI for age and sex, but malnutrition is fairly common


- Moore MC. Pocket Guide to Nutritional Assessment and Care. Fift Elsevier USA.2005; 50-52.

- Shariff ZM, Bond T, Johson NE. Nutritional status of primary school children from low income households in Kuala Lumpur. Malays J Nutr. 2000;6(1):17-32.

- Lee J. Child survival a global health challenge. Lancet 2003; 362(9380):262.

- Nutritional status survey of under five children in Baghdad- Iraq. Nutritional Research Institute, Ministry of Health and UNICEF 2003.

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention USA 2003.

- Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH. Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey. BMJ 2000; 320: 1240-1243.

- Onis de M, Onyango AW, Elaine B, Siyam A, Nishidaa C, Siekmanna J. Development of a WHO growth reference for school aged children and adolescents. Bulletin of the WHO 2007; 85(9):649-732.

- Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton. Nelson’s textbook of peadiatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Sanders Company; 2007.p. 232-242.

- Ebrahim SM. Health status of primary school children in Basrah: The impact of school health services. A Ph.D thesis, University of Basrah ; 2005.

- Friedlander SL, Larkin EK, Rosen CL, Palermo TM, Redline S. Decreased quality of life associated with obesity in school aged children. Arch Pediatr Aolesc Med. 2003; 157(12):1206-11.

- Srivastava A, Mahmood S, Srivastava PM, Shotrya VP, Kumar B. Nutritional status of school age children – A scenario of urban slum in India. Archives of public health 2012;70:8.

- Williams J, Wake M, Hesketh K, Maher E, Waters E. Health related quality of life of overweight and obese children. JAMA. 2005; 293(1):70-6.