Online Program

Adolescent nutritional status and its association with village-level factors in Tanzania

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nozipho Maziya, MS, Department of Nutrition, University of Massacusetts, Northampton, MA
Lorraine Cordeiro, MPH, PhD, Department of Nutrition, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Jerusha Nelson Peterman, PhD, RD, 100 Holdsworth Way, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Aline Sayer, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Masachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
Community level factors are associated with undernutrition, after adjusting for individual level factors such as age, gender and BMI. While several studies have been conducted to elucidate individual and household level factors which facilitate or hinder optimal nutritional health; very few studies have looked at village level factors as significant predictors of childhood malnutrition. Adolescents from resource constrained villages are often exposed to unhealthy environments, with limited access and availability of healthy foods, clean drinking water, sanitary facilities, and health care services, putting them at risk for poor nutritional health. This study investigates the association between village level factors and undernutrition (BMI for Age < 5th percentile of the WHO/NCHS reference) among a sample of adolescents, ages 10-19 years (n=670) from 28 villages in Kilosa District, Tanzania. We hypothesized that in addition to individual characteristics, community level factors may account for a large proportion of variance in explaining the nutritional status of adolescents in the Kilosa District. Exploring the relationships beyond individual level factors, and investigating possible community level determinants of child nutritional status and the extent at which they influence nutritional health is important for developing specific health and nutrition interventions tailored to the needs of adolescents in low-income communities.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate an understanding of the prevalence of undernutrition among adolescents in Tanzania, and the variations in adolescent nutritional status across villages. Identify significant community level predictors of nutritional status and their implications in adolescent health.

Keyword(s): Community, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience working in community-based programs to improve nutrition and child health; currently a graduate student in nutrition working under the supervision of faculty researchers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.