Frequency and assessment of Nutritional Status of school going children in rural areas of Islamabad

  • Shehla Farhin Islamabad Medical and Dental College
  • Tamkeen Jaffry
  • Sadia Zafar Islamabad Medical and Dental College
  • Farah Rashid Islamabad Medical and Dental College
Keywords: Nutritional status, School children, Malnutrition, Rural Islamabad, BMI


Background and Objectives: Nutritional status is considered a significant and positive health indicator. It determines anthropometric measurements of preschool children, the height of children at the time of school entry and prevalence of low birth weight. The objective of the study was to determine the frequency of nutritional status and socio-demographic factors influencing under nutrition among school children of rural Islamabad.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among school children of the age (4-16 years) from January 2017 to September 2019. The Sample size was 1710. Schools were selected through convenient sampling technique. Frequency and percentages were calculated and inferential statistics were computed to analyze the association of health status with categorical variables by using chi-square by keeping the level of significance <0.05 through SPSS version 20.

Results: The mean age of the sample was 9.38±4.14 with the maximum number of children (49.1%) in the age bracket of 5-9. Out of 1710 children, 54.4% had normal weight for age, 25.3% were underweight, 7.5% overweight and 12.8% were found to be obese. Stunting was found to be 26%. Prevalence of being underweight was higher than overweight /obesity particularly in younger and higher age groups as indicated by p-value of 0.000. Comparing with females, male students had significantly higher frequency of being underweight and stunted as reflected by p-value of 0.004 and 0.000 respectively. Univariate analysis also showed a strong association between age and nutritional status as mean weight increased from 39.22±5.21 to 63.50±4.66 and height from 35.67±5.76 to 113.73±29.22 with advancing age.

Conclusions: Undernutrition remains an ongoing health problem in school going children of rural Islamabad; particularly in male students of younger age groups. School health programs and nutritional interventions need to be strengthened particularly in rural areas of Islamabad.


How to cite this:
Farhin S, Jaffry T, Zafar S, Rashid F. Frequency and assessment of Nutritional Status of school going children in rural areas of Islamabad. Pak J Med Sci. 2021;37(5):1475-1479. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Author Biographies

Shehla Farhin, Islamabad Medical and Dental College

Assistant Professor,

Community Medicine

Tamkeen Jaffry

Assistant Professor,

Community Medicine

Farah Rashid, Islamabad Medical and Dental College


Community Medicine

How to Cite
Farhin, S., Jaffry, T., Zafar, S., & Rashid, F. (2021). Frequency and assessment of Nutritional Status of school going children in rural areas of Islamabad. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 37(5).
Original Articles