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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5358
Vol. 7, No. 6, 2007
Bioline Code: nd07048
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 7, No. 6, 2007

Musamali, Betty


Malnutrition exists in some form in every country. Protein Energy malnutrition is the commonest and the most devastating form of malnutrition among children under five years of age and school children. This suggests that interventions in the school aged children can help reduce levels of malnutrition and its related effects on childrens' health and education. School feeding Programmes (SFP), which have been initiated in many countries including Kenya, have been shown to improve academic performance and nutritional status in developing and industrialized countries. However, the effects of School Lunch programmes (SLP) in Vihiga District have not been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of SLP in improving the nutritional status of school children in Emuhaya Division of Vihiga district, Kenya.

The objectives of the study were: to compare the nutritional status of participants (children who participate in the school lunch) and non-participants (children who do not participate in the school lunch) and to assess the diet quality of the school and home lunch. It was hypothesized that the nutritional status of participants was better than that of the nonparticipants. Three hundred and twenty pupils (index children) and their parents were randomly selected for the purpose of the study. Anthropometric measurements, 24-hour recall, interview schedules and observed weighed technique were the instruments used in data collection.

Using Statistics, frequencies, means, correlations and multiple regressions were generated and used to analyze socio-economic data and effect of SLP on nutritional status. Food composition tables and Epi Info version 6 were also employed to analyze the diet quality of the school and home lunch and anthropometric data respectively. The results indicated a positive association between the school lunch and nutritional status. The diet quality of the school lunch and nutritional status of participants were significantly higher than that of the non-participants.

SLP had a positive significant effect on the nutritional status of participating children. More schools and parents in similar environments should therefore be encouraged to venture into the SLP because of their positive outcome on nutritional status as well as the diet quality of participating children.

School Lunch Programmes, Nutritional status

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