Background of The Study
Adequate nutrition is understood to be the intake of food that contains complete diet nutrients and at appropriate time. Nutrition is the study of all the elements contained in food to satisfy certain needs or requirements, in order to ensure proper growth, repairing and maintenance of the human body. (Thompson, 2006).
Merck and Merck (2007) opine that to receive adequate nutrition, people need to consume a healthy diet, which consists of a variety of nutrients. Thus a healthy diet enables people to maintain a desirable body statue and composition and to perform their daily physical and mental inadequate.
Generally, nutrients are divided into two classes; macronutrients and micronutrients. Macro- nutrients are required daily in large quantities for adequate nutrition. They include proteins
fats, carbohydrates, minerals and water. Water is required in amount of 1 millimeter for each calories of energy expended a day.
Micronutrients are required daily in small amount daily in small amount –in milligrams. They include- vitamins and trace minerals that enables the body to use the macro- nutrient, Merck and Merck (2007).
Therefore, adequate needed by the body its proper usage must contain both the macro-and the Micronutrient as well as water.
Of every ten children born in developing countries, one child wil die before his/her fifty birthdays. This extremely high death toil in total more than 10million young children die in developing countries each year demonstrates the vulnerability of infants and young children due to in-adequate nutrition and poor health, Shannonn (2001). The fact is, a large majority of child deaths in developing countries are preventable with a combination of good health care, adequate nutrition and appropriate medical treatment. This bring hope that, the unacceptably high mortality can be reduced with effective interventions.
The importance of adequate nutrition during early life cannot be underestimated, it is for energy and growth of individual, WHO (2005).
In addition, prevalence of micro-nutrients deficiencies- also called “hidden hunger” – is very high in many developing countries, in particular during early life. Some of the most serious consequences of micro-nutrient deficiencies, include adverse effects on psychomotor and mental development due to Iron deficiency, as well as blindness and increase morbidity and mortality due to clinical vitamin 'A' deficiency, WHO (2005).
(IAEA), (2006) observe that micro-nutrients deficiencies have major health consequences in early life as adequate micro-nutrient is essential for normal growth and development. One of the priority areas for IAEA’s project in human nutrition is to combat micro-nutrient deficiencies, in particular in infants and young children.
Thompson (2006) says our knowledge of adequate nutrition has been increased this last years, in such a way that it is easier to achieve adequate nutritional level in order to achieve better quality life, and increase the average life time of a person or certain population.
Thompson (2006) highlights the goals of adequate nutrition thus:
1. Maintaining a normal weight through a perfect combination of a healthy diet and physical exercise;
2. Balancing the diet through the whole day instead of balancing every single meal;
3. Replacing saturated fat with non-saturated fat;
4. Drinking enough water through the whole day;
5. Increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes to satisfy the needs of vitamin, mineral and fibre;
6. Reducing the amount and frequency of consumption of meat, eggs and hard cheese;
7. Completely eliminating the consumption of industrially manufactured products;
8. Dramatically reduce the consumption of sugar;
9. Keeping the consumption of sodium below a maximum of 2,400 milligrams per day; and
10. Keeping alcohol consumption at minimum levels.
Certain people are more susceptible to inadequate nutrition than others. For examples, individuals in rapid growth period such as infants, adolescents and pregnant women, have higher nutritional needs than others and are therefore, more susceptible to the effect of in-adequate nutrition other known as Mal-nutrition. Those living in deprived socio-economic circumstance or that lack adequate sanitation, education, or means to procure food that are nutritionally rich, are also at risk. WHO (2005).
Most importantly, individual at risk for systemic infections (particular-gastro-intestinal) and those who suffer with a chronic disease at greatly increased risk because they require additional energy to support their immune system, but rather they have decreased absorption of nutrients. That is to say that these set of people require adequate nutrition to help them build more energy for their immune system.
WHO (2005) says, the WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development is responsible for formulating dietary and nutritional guidelines for international use. Adequate nutrition include the following (according to WHO 2005); Protein, energy (calories), vitamin A and carotene, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Antioxidant, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and iodine. If these elements are adequate this means the nutritional value is adequate too.
Onis et al (1993) observe that chronic deficiency of protein and calories result in a condition called ‘marasmus’, while diet high in carbohydrate but low in protein causes a condition known as “kwashiorkor”.
In addition, in-adequate nutrition from any causes retard normal growth. Growth assessments are therefore the best way to monitor a persons’ nutritional status.
Limited growth patterns are distributed unevenly across the globe, 80% of children affected by stunting or wasting live in Asia, with 15% in Africa, and 5% in Latin America.
Low weight -for-age (underweight) is usually used as an overall measurement of growth status.
More than 35% of all pre-scholars in developing countries are underweight. There are differences, however, across regions (Onis et al 1993).
In some ways, these indices also enable an indirect understanding of societal factors in these regions that contribute to in-adequate nutrition as mentioned above.
According to WHO (2005), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, established the United Nations (UN) in 1948, identifies nutrition as a fundamental human right.
Lack of adequate nutrition (mal-nutrition) remains one of the world’s highest health issues, not only because its effects are so widespread and long lasting, but also because it can be eradicated.
UNICEF (2003) says proper nutrition is powerfully good; people who are given adequate nutrition are generally healthy. Healthy women, given proper and adequate nutrition as discussed above will lead more fulfilling live; healthy children learn more in school and out; healthy men get more strong and live long. Adequate nutrition benefits families, their communities and the world as a whole. On the other hand, Schroeder (2001) opines that lack of adequate nutrition is devastating. Lack of adequate nutrition perpetuates poverty; it blunts the intellect and saps the productivity of every one it touches.
The quality of food and feeding is an important issue in health outcomes.
UNICEF (2003) asserts that UNICEF has worked out plans to help see that every right to adequate nutrition is fulfilled. It helps children to grow and thrive as individuals. Adequate nutrition helps give every child the best start in life. Adequate nutrition helps to reduce our risk of getting infected by diseases, or incurring chronic sicknesses lick diabetes, HIV, and heart attack.
Onis et al (1993) assert that carefully planned nutrition must provide an energy balance and a nutritional balance elements (nutrients).
The nutrient according to (Onis et al, 1993) are:
Protein - Essential to growth and repair of muscles and other body tissues.
Fat - One source of energy and important in relation to fat-soluble vitamins.
Carbohydrate – Our main source of energy
Vitamin - Water and fat soluble vitamins play important roles in chemical process in the body.
Water - Essential to normal body functions; as a vehicle for carrying other nutrients
Minerals -Those inorganic elements occurring in the body and which are critical to it normal functions.
Statement of Problem
Adequate nutrition has been seen as an influencing factor to the growth of the pre-scholar, not only in Nigeria but in other part of the world as well. The fact is that most parents and guardians do not understand the effect of adequate nutrition on the growth of our young stars. The problem of this research is to find out whether adequate nutrition actually has an effect on the weight, height, arm circumference, head circumference, skin fold and thigh of the pre-scholars in Uyo Metropolis.
Objective of the Study
The objectives of the study are as follows:
1. To access the effects of adequate nutrition on weight of the pre- scholars in Uyo metropolis
2. To examine the effects of adequate nutrition on height of the pre-colonial in Uyo metropolis.
3. To access the effects of adequate nutrition on arm circumference of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
4. To determine the effects of adequate nutrition on head circumference of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
5. To access the effects of adequate nutrition on skin fold of pre- scholars in Uyo metropolis.
6. To investigate the effects of adequate nutrition on thigh of pre- scholars in Uyo metropolis.
7. To access the joint effect of adequate nutrition on weight, height, arm circumference, head circumference, skin fold and thigh of pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
The following research questions are deemed necessary:
1. To what extent does adequate nutrition affect weight of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis?
2. To what extent does adequate nutrition affect height of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis?
3. What is the effect of adequate nutrition on arm circumference of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis?
4 To what extent does adequate nutrition affect head circumference of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis?
5. What is the effect of adequate nutrition on skin fold of pre- scholars in Uyo metropolis?
6. What is the effect of adequate nutrition on thigh of pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis?
7. What is the joint effect of adequate nutrition on weight, height, arm circumference, head circumference, skin fold and thigh of pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis?
The following research hypotheses were drawn from the research questions:
1. There is no significant effect of adequate nutrition on weight of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
2. There is no significant effect of adequate nutrition on height of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
3. Adequate nutrition has no significant effect on arm circumference of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
4. There is no significant effect of adequate nutrition on head circumference of the pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
5. There is no significant effect of adequate nutrition on skin fold of pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
6. Adequate nutrition has no significant effect on the thigh of pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
7. There is no significant joint effect of adequate nutrition on weight, height, arm circumference, head circumference, skin fold and thigh of pre-scholars in Uyo metropolis.
Significance of the Study
The result obtained from the study will be useful for all and sundry. The study as a matter of fact will help in improving the health status of the pre-scholar.
The study will help create awareness to the parents of the pre-scholars on the effect of adequate nutrition on the growth of young ones. Government will also find this study useful when drawing educational policy that will help improve educational standard for pupils and student.
The following basic assumptions are deemed necessary:-
1. Most pre-scholars are not given adequate nutrition.
2. The growth rate of most of our pre-scholars is low because of poor nutrition
3. Adequate nutrition will not only affect the growth of the pre-scholars but their academic performance as well.
Limitation of the studies
There are some factors that constituted as constraints to this study. Such factors include limited time given to the researcher for the research, coupled with other engagement, like domestic chore and teaching task on school. The attitude and the level of understanding of the pre-scholar are also the things of worry to the researcher. Materials for effective research have also been seen as a barrier to effective work.
Delimitation of the Study
This study is limited to pre-scholar of 3-5 years of age in Uyo Metropolis. The study shall also be limited to their nutrition and growth parameters like weight, height, arm circumference, head circumference, skin fold and thigh..