Assessment of Nutritional Status and Cognitive Development of Preschool Children at Minia Governorate, Egypt

Tarek A. Abdel-Rahman*, Nashwa N. Kamal, Khaled H. El-Dessouki, Alaa A. AbdAllah Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, El-Minia University, Egypt *Corresponding Author: Dr. Tarek A. Abdel-Rahman, Associate Professor. E-Mail: [email protected] / [email protected]  

Objective: This study aimed to assess the magnitude of malnutrition among pre-school children in Minia district, and its impact on their cognitive performance. Subjects and Methods: This is a cross sectional community based study that was carried among preschool children in El-Minia district. Preschoolers were recruited from randomly selected public schools with a kindergarten from various rural and urban areas. The sample size was 288 children age ranged between 4 years (48 months) to below 7 years (83 months). Data were collected by an aided questionnaire which included socio demographic, dietary pattern and food frequency. The nutritional status was assessed by anthropometric measurements. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test, Arabic edition 4 (SBITA) was used to measure the intelligence quotient (IQ). Results: 288 children were studied, (18.8%) of children are overweight, (7.6%) are obese, and only (2.1%) are wasted; according to BMI-for-age Z-score, (28.8%) are at risk of stunting and only (9.4%) are stunted according to Height-for-age Z-score. IQ score was significantly higher among children from urban region (93.6±6.1), children whose fathers, mothers education is university and above (93.9±6.4), (94.2±6.6) respectively, children whose mothers occupation is professional work (94.2±6.4), Mean IQ score was significantly lower among children whose mothers use margarine in cooking (90.8±5.9), while the mean I.Q. score was significantly higher in those who take supplementary vitamins and minerals regularly (98.3±6.6). Conclusion: Proper environmental condition (including proper nutrition, parent’s education and socio-economic standards) were crucial for cognitive and intellectual development of the studied preschool children. It is important to intervene early by nutrition education message to mothers about healthy feeding practices.

Keywords: Anthropometry, Children, Cognitive Performance, Nutrition, Egypt

Citation: Abdel-Rahman TA, Kamal NN, El-Dessouki KH, AbdAllah AA. Assessment of Nutritional Status and Cognitive Development of Preschool Children at Minia Governorate, Egypt. Canad J Clin Nutr 2017; 5 (1): 72-94.