, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 347–356 | Cite as

Environmental aspects of child growth and nutrition: A case study from Ibadan, Nigeria

  • Rossington Christine E. 
Studies in Medical Geography in Africa


Protein-energy malnutrition, especially among young children, is a major health problem in many developing areas. Its causes are complex and inadequately understood. The paper outlines a pilot survey designed to investigate the impact of economic, demographic and socio-cultural factors on growth and nutrition among a small group of children aged between one and five years from urban poor families living in Ibadan, Nigeria. Field surveys were undertaken between July 1971 and August 1972 using 51 children from the Oje area of the city who formed part of a larger longitudinal study of child growth and development. Records of child growth patterns were compiled from monthly anthropometric measurements and enquiries made into the socio-economic and demographic status of the sample families.

Basic analysis identified periods of growth retardation and seasonal fluctuations in somatic attainments. Multiple correlation analyses attempted to define statistically some of the aspects of the environment which significantly influenced somatic achievements. Relatively low levels of explanation were obtained, emphasising data deficiencies and the complexity of the nutrition problem, but small groups of economic and demographic causative variables were isolated.


Multiple Correlation Analysis Nigeria Field Survey Anthropometric Measurement Seasonal Fluctuation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahimie, P.O.: Health, housing and social welfare. In: Ayida, A.A. and Onitiri, H.M.A. (eds.), Reconstruction and development in Nigeria: Proceedings of a National Confereence, March 24th–29th, 1969. 699–712 OUP 1971.Google Scholar
  2. Anon: Kicking the bottle. New Internationalist 35, 13–15 (1975)Google Scholar
  3. Burgess, H.J.L.; Burgess, A.P.; Driessen, F.: The nutritional status of children aged 0–5 years in Nkhotakota, Malawi. Trop. Geogr. Med. 27, 375–82 (1975)Google Scholar
  4. Hanlon, J.J.: An ecologic view of public health. Am. J. Public Health 59, 4–11 (1969)Google Scholar
  5. Hendrickse, R.G.: Major causes of death in infancy and early childhood at University College Hospital, Ibadan. Centre Internationale de l'Enfance, Réunions et Conferences 14, 123–27 (1967a)Google Scholar
  6. Hendrickse, R.G.: Social and economic factors in the etiology of malnutrition in Nigeria. Paper presented to the Proceedings of the Joint Congress of the Society of Health, Nigeria, and the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Zaria. 65–68, 1967b.Google Scholar
  7. Hughes, C.C.; Hunter, J.M.: Disease and ‘Development’ in Africa. Soc. Sci. & Med. 3, 443–93 (1970)Google Scholar
  8. Hunter, J.M.: Seasonal hunger in a part of the West African Savanna: a survey of bodyweights in Nangodi, north-east Ghana. Trans. Inst. Br. Georg. 41, 167–85 (1967)Google Scholar
  9. Janes, M.D.: Report on a growth and development study on Yoruba children in Ibadan, Western Nigeria. Centre Internationale de l'Enfance, Réunions et Conferences 14, 104–109 (1967)Google Scholar
  10. Janes, M.D.: Physical growth of Nigerian Yoruba children. Trop. Geogr. Med. 26, 389–98 (1974)Google Scholar
  11. Khan, A.A.; Gupta, B.M.: Social and economic factors in malnourished children around Lusaka, Zambia. Trop. Geogr. Med. 29, 283–87 (1977)Google Scholar
  12. Levine, R.A.; Klein, N.H.; Owen, C.R.: Father-child relationships and changing life styles in Ibadan, Nigeria. In: Miner, H. (ed.) The city in modern Africa, 59–83, London 1967.Google Scholar
  13. Mabogunje, A.L.: Yoruba towns. Ibadan University Press 1962.Google Scholar
  14. Maclean, C.: Yoruba mothers: a study of changing methods of child rearing. J. Trop. Med. & Hyg. 69, 253–63 (1966)Google Scholar
  15. Martin, W.J.; Woodland, M.; Morley, D.C.: Intervals between births in a Nigerian village. J. Trop. Pediatr. 10, 82–85 (1965)Google Scholar
  16. Mehta, S.; Nath, N.; Thukural, S.; Pasricha, S.: Growth profile of preschool children from an urban low socio-economic community in India. Trop. Geogr. Med. 29, 177–86 (1977)Google Scholar
  17. Miracle, M.P.: Seasonal hunger: a vague concept and an unexplored problem. Bull. Inst. Fr. Afr. Noire, Série B, 23, 273–83 (1961)Google Scholar
  18. Morley, D.C.: Prevention of protein-calorie deficiency syndromes. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. & Hyg. 62, 200–208 (1968)Google Scholar
  19. Morley, D.C.: Medical care in Africa. Paper presented to the Conference on the organisation and social implications of science in Africa, Aberdeen, September 23rd–25th, 1970.Google Scholar
  20. Morley, D.C.; Woodland, M.; Martin, W.J.; Allen, I.: Heights and weights of West African village children from birth to the age of five. W. Afr. Med. J. 17, 8–13 (1968)Google Scholar
  21. Nigeria, Federal Office of Statistics: Uban consumer surveys: Ibadan. Report on enquiries into income and expenditure patterns of lower and middle income households at Ibadan, 1961–62. UCS/1966/2.Google Scholar
  22. Rea, J.N.: Social and economic influences on the growth of preschool children in Lagos. Human Biology 43, 46–63 (1971)Google Scholar
  23. Rea, J.N.: Social and nutritional influences on morbidity: a community s study of young children in Lagos. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 29, 223–30 (1970)Google Scholar
  24. Scrimshaw, N.S.; Taylor, C.E.; gordon, J.E.: Interactions of nutrition and infection. WHO Monograph Series No. 57. WHO Geneva 1968.Google Scholar
  25. Someswara Rao, K.; Swaminathan, M.C.; Swarup, S.; Patwardhan, V.N.: Protein malnutrition in South India. Bull. World Health Organ. 20, 603–39 (1959)Google Scholar
  26. Stuart, H.C.; Stevenson, S.S.: Physical growth and development. In: Nelson, W. (ed.) Textbook of paediatrics. 7. edn. pp. 12–61, Saunders 1959.Google Scholar
  27. Thomson, A.M.; Billewicz, W.Z.; Thompson, B.; Illsley, R.; Rahman, A.K.; McGregor, I.A.: A study of growth and health of young children in Tropical Africa. Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. & Hyg. 62, 330–40 (1968)Google Scholar
  28. Udo, R.K.: Food-deficit areas of Nigeria. Geogr. Rev. 61, 415–30 (1971)Google Scholar
  29. Waterlow, J.C.: Classification and definition of protein-energy malnutrition. In: Beaton, G.H. and Bengoa, J. M. (eds.) Nutrition in preventive medicine: the major deficiency syndromes, epidemiology and approaches to control. WHO Monograph Series No. 62. pp. 530–55, WHO Geneva 1976.Google Scholar
  30. Wray, J.D.; Aguirre, A.: Protein-calorie malnutrition in Candelaria, Columbia. 1. Prevalence, social and demographic causal factors. J. Trop. Pediatr. 15, 76–98 (1969)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rossington Christine E. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Ealing Technical College, UKBracknellUK

Personalised recommendations