Mal J Nutr 23(1): 9 - 16, 2017

Determinants of Zinc Status of 2-3-Year-Old Children in Laguna, Philippines
Rodesa T Naupal-Forcadilla1, Corazon VC Barba2, Maria Theresa M Talavera2 & Marison R Dy3


Introduction: Zinc deficiency has been considered a micronutrient problem of high magnitude in the Philippines. The effect of zinc deficiency on physical growth manifests during the first two years of life and is associated with high rates of infection and inadequate nutrition. The study aims to assess the zinc status of children and identify factors that affect zinc status.
Methods: A multi-stage stratified random sampling was used in a cross-sectional study of 2 -3-year-old children currently residing in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire. A 24-hour food recall data sheet was used for evaluation of food intake. The physical dimensions of children were measured using salter weighing scale and height board. A static biochemical test of nutrients in the blood was carried out to assess the level of zinc and presence of infection in the body. The Early Childhood Care and Development program checklist, Metro Manila Developmental Screening Test and Child Development Index were adapted to determine the level of cognitive development of children.
Results: Correlation analysis revealed that anthropometric indices and food intake had a significant and positive linear association with zinc status (energy r=.014; P=.000; protein r=.027; P=.000; zinc r=.044; P=.000; iron r=.070; P=.000). The presence of infection was found to have a negative but significant relationship with zinc status. Zinc status was significantly associated with cognitive development.
Conclusion: The study showed that determinants of zinc status are nutrient intake (such as energy and zinc), infection, height-for-age index and cognitive development.

Keywords: Associated factors, cognitive development, height-for-age, infection, zinc status

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