Prevalence of Malnutrition and its Effects on the Academic Performance of Students in Some Selected Secondary Schools in Sokoto Metropolis
E. Essien, M.J. Haruna and P.K. Emebu
This study investigated the prevalence of malnutrition and its effect on the academic performance of students in some selected secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis of Sokoto State, Nigeria. The study population was drawn from secondary school students attending Federal Government College and State Government-owned schools. Well tested and validated questionnaires were used to elicit information from the students. Purposive sampling technique was used for the selection of respondents. The selected schools were: Federal Government College (FGC), Sani Dingyadi Secondary School (SDUSS), Nagarta Secondary School (NSS) and Army Day Secondary School (ADSS). A total of two hundred and forty (240) secondary school students comprising 168 males (70%) and 72 females (30%) participated in the study. The result revealed a high prevalence of malnutrition of 35.4% among the selected secondary school students, using BMI as index. Prevalence of malnutrition was significantly higher in SDUSS (43.3%) followed by NCS (35%), ADSS (33.3%) and FGCS (30%). The study recorded a total mean performance score of 44.3% for all the selected schools. There was significant difference (p<0.05) in the mean performance score of the secondary school students. Students of FGCS recorded the highest mean score of 60.3% which was significantly higher (p<0.05) than that of the other selected schools. SDUSS had the lowest mean performance score of 29.6%. Malnutrition was negatively and significantly related with the academic performance (r = -0.154, p<0.01). It was further observed that SDUSS with the highest prevalence of malnutrition has the poorest performance, while FGC with the least prevalence of malnutrition had the best academic performance. Hence, activities to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition should be encouraged.