Nutritional Status and Dietary Intake of School-Age Children and Early Adolescents: Systematic Review in a Developing Country and Lessons for the Global Perspective

Editor(s):
Khan DSA, Das JK, Zareen S, Lassi ZS, Salman A, Raashid M, Dero AA, Khanzada A and Bhutta ZA

The persistence of undernutrition and the explosion of overnutrition and its consequences in later life have led to a concurrent burden of under- and overnutrition, aggravated by micronutrient deficiencies, all of which are more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). While nutritional data for children under 5 years is reasonably well documented, data for school-age children is very scant. This paper is a systematic review assessing the prevalence of nutritional status and dietary intake among school-going children and adolescents (5–15 years of age) in Pakistan. It puts it in perspective regarding the broader global nutrition status of this age group. Using data from 51 studies, they estimate the prevalence of underweight, stunting, and wasting each to be 23-25%, while 11% of children are overweight, and 7% obese. These findings are associated with a relatively high intake of carbohydrates, sugar-sweetened beverages, and a low intake of protein-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables. The review highlights the need for more extensive, well-designed studies for this age group with the representation of different contexts, so that appropriate actions be deliberated, and relevant programs should be designed when focusing on this population.

Source: Khan DSA, Das JK, Zareen S, Lassi ZS, Salman A, Raashid M, Dero AA, Khanzada A and Bhutta ZA (2022) Nutritional Status and Dietary Intake of School-Age Children and Early Adolescents: Systematic Review in a Developing Country and Lessons for the Global Perspective. Front. Nutr. 8:739447. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.739447.