Relationship between child development and nutritional status of under-five Nigerian children

  • Adenike Oluwayemisi Jimoh Bingham University
  • Jane Oowo Anyiam Ahmadu Bello University
  • Alhassan Mela Yakubu Bingham University
Keywords: child, developmental delay, developmental quotient, nutritional status, under-fives, Nigerian


Introduction: Nutrition is a major factor that can have long-term effects on the brain’s structural and functional capacity. The interplay between nutrition and child development cannot be overemphasised, especially in developing countries.

Objectives: The study aimed to assess the nutritional status of under-fives and determine the relationship between the nutritional status and their developmental quotient.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was undertaken involving 415 under-fives aged 6–59 months in selected pre-schools and immunisation centres. Developmental assessment was done using the Schedule of Growing Skills II. The nutritional status was assessed using the WHO growth charts for weight-for-age, weight-for-height and height-for-age. Chi-square and odds ratio with 95% confidence interval were used to determine the association between nutritional status and selected developmental domains.

Results: The mean age was 32.6 ± 15.9 months. The male to female ratio was 1.2:1. The overall prevalence of developmental delay was 35.4%, with manipulative domain accounting for the highest delay (25.8%). The prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight was 9.1, 3.8 and 3.8% while 2.2% were overweight. Weight-for-age had a significant association with the hearing and language domain (OR 3.25, 95% CI 1.09–9.72, p = 0.036,) and interactive social domain (OR 5.0, 95% CI 2.0–13.0, p = 0.001).

Conclusion: The nutritional status of a child has an effect on certain developmental domains of that child. Interventions to improve the nutritional status of under-fives will go a long way to facilitating the development of this group of children.

(Full text available online at

South Afr J Clin Nutr 2018; DOI: 10.1080/16070658.2017.1387434

Author Biographies

Adenike Oluwayemisi Jimoh, Bingham University
Department of Paediatrics, College of Health Sciences, Bingham University, Karu
Jane Oowo Anyiam, Ahmadu Bello University
Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Alhassan Mela Yakubu, Bingham University
Department of Paediatrics, College of Health Sciences, Bingham University, Karu
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