Using Structural Equation Modelling to Assess Dominant Factors Influencing the Nutritional Status of Special Needs Segment

Hanan ML El-Gamal*, Essam Ghoneim, Doha Abo Zahra, Sally El-Sayed

Nutrition Department, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Technology, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt

*Corresponding Author: Dr. Hanan El-Gamal, Associate Professor of Nutrition, Pharos University, Alexandria, E-mail: hanan.elgamal@pua.edu.eg

ABSTRACT
Background: Down Syndrome (DS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are the most popular disabilities. Assessment of nutritional status is crucial as this segment of people whether children or youth are at risk of underweight, overweight or obesity. Objective: The aim of this study is was to assess the nutritional status of disabled children and provide data regarding the factors that may affect the nutritional status of children and youth with DS, ADHD and ASD living in the city of Alexandria, Egypt. A community based descriptive study carried out at the Victory youth social club for the disabled, Alexandria, Egypt. Subjects & Methods: A structural equation model was generated to explore the effects of the socioeconomic status, food intake and health status on the nutritional status. Results: The results indicated that in regard of socioeconomic status there was a positive relationship between nutritional status and the education of father’s, mother’s (0.188, P < 0.001), (0.202, P < 0.001), income (0.455, P < 0.001), while there was a negative relationship with number of family (-0.136, P < 0.001). In regard to food habits, there were was a negative relationship between meal composition (-0.343, P < 0.001), and finally, there was a positive relationship between BMI (0.10, P < 0.001), chronic diseases (0.02, P < 0.001), while physical activity had a negative relationship (-0.04, P < 0.001) on the nutritional status. Conclusion: Children with a disability need nutritional support and intervention to overcome deficiency problems.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Down syndrome, Nutritional status, Structural equation model

Citation: Hanan ML El-Gamal, Essam Ghoneim, Doha Abo Zahra, Sally El-Sayed. Using Structural Equation Modelling to Assess Dominant Factors Influencing the Nutritional Status of Special Needs Segment. Canadian Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2021; 9 (2): 7-19.

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.14206/canad.j.clin.nutr.2021.02.02

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