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PROJECT TOPIC- ASSESS THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS IN IZZI AND ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF EBONYI STATE

PROJECT TOPIC- ASSESS THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS IN IZZI AND ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF EBONYI STATE

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Adolescence (from  Latin  adolescere, meaning “to grow up”) (Macmillan Dictionary for Students Macmillan , 1981) is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood (age of maturity) (Macmillan Dictionary for Students Macmillan , 1981; Merriam, 2012; Medline, 2010). The period of adolescence is most closely associated with the teenage years, (Erik, 2009) though its physical, psychological and cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later.

 A thorough understanding of adolescence in society depends on information from various perspectives, including psychology, biology, history, sociology, education, and anthropology. Within all of these perspectives, adolescence is viewed as a transitional period between childhood and adulthood, whose cultural purpose is the preparation of children for adult roles (Larson, & Wilson, 2004).

It is a period of multiple transitions involving education, training, employment and unemployment, as well as transitions from one living circumstance to another (Coleman, et al., 1998). Adolescents as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) are persons 10-19 years of age, Nonetheless, because of rapid growth in stature, muscle mass and fat mass during the peak of the adolescent growth spurt, some dietary requirements are as high or higher in adolescents than in other age groups (WHO, 2000). WHO (1995) stated that adolescence is a period of increased nutritional requirements.

The adolescent growth spurt is a rapid increase in the individual’s height and weight during puberty resulting from the simultaneous release of growth hormones, thyroid hormones, and androgens (Steinberg, 2008). Males experience their growth spurt about two years later, on average, than females. During their peak height velocity (the time of most rapid growth), adolescents grow at a growth rate nearly identical to that of a toddler about 4 inches (10.3 cm) a year for males and 3.5 inches (9 cm) for females (Susman, and Rogol, 2004).

In addition to changes in height, adolescents also experience a significant increase in weight (Marshall, 1978). The weight gained during adolescence constitutes nearly half of one’s adult body weight (Susman, and Rogol, 2004). Teenage and early adult males may continue to gain natural muscle growth even after puberty (Friedman et al., 1992). The accelerated growth in different body parts happens at different times, but for all adolescents it has a fairly regular sequence. The first places to grow are the extremities—the head, hands and feet—followed by the arms and legs, then the torso and shoulders (Tanner J., 1972).

This non-uniform growth is one reason why an adolescent body may seem out of proportion. The 2420 kcal required per day by adolescents is the highest energy requirement of any age group (Woodruff, 2000). Poor nutritional status during this period is an important determinant of health status (Deshmukh et al., 2006). Short stature that results from chronic under nutrition is associated with reduced lean body mass and deficiencies in muscular strength and working capacity (WHO, 1995).

Another important aspect of health that is related to nutritional status is body composition (Gamez et al., 1998). A young adult stages of human development, is generally a person in the age range of 20 to 40, whereas an adolescent is a person aging from 10 to 19, (Erik, 2009) although definitions and opinions vary. For a variety of reasons, timeliness on young adulthood cannot be exactly defined, producing different results according to the different mix of overlapping indices (legal, maturational, occupational, sexual, emotional and the like) employed, or on whether ‘a developmental perspective…[or] the socialization perspective (Larvinson, 1994) is taken.

‘Sub-phases in this timetable of psychosocial growth patterns…are not rigid, and both social change and individual variations must be taken into account'(Rapoport, 1994) not to mention regional and cultural differences. Arguably indeed, with people living longer and also reaching puberty earlier, ‘age norms for major life events have become highly elastic'(Gail Sheehy, 1996) by the twenty-first century.

Some have suggested that, after ‘ Pre-adulthood…in the first 20 years or so…the second era, Early Adulthood, lasts from about age 17 to 45…the adult era of greatest energy and abundance and of greatest contradiction and stress.'(Daniel J. Levinson, 1994) Within that framework, ‘the Early Adult Transition (17–22) is a developmental bridge between pre-adulthood and early adulthood’, (Daniel J. Levinson, 1996) recognizing that ‘the transition into adulthood is not a clear-cut dividing line’.

(Charlse et al, 2009) One might alternatively speak of ‘a Provisional Adulthood (18–30)…[&] the initiation to First Adulthood'(Gail Sheehy, 1996) as following that. Despite all such fluidity, there is broad agreement that it is essentially the twenties and thirties which constitute ‘ Early adulthood…the basis for what  Levinson  calls the Dream—a vision of his [or her] goal’s in life which provide motivation and enthusiasm for the future’ (Ann Birch, 1997).

In Nigeria however, only few studies have studied sex differences in the level of under nutrition among adolescent boys and girls (Ijarotimi et al., 2003; Ijarotimi, 2004; Nwokoro et al., 2006). Nutritional Status is the nutritional health of a person as determined by ABCDs of nutritional assessment (ward law, 1999).

A = Anthropometric assessment: (Weight, height, skin fold thickness, arm muscle circumference, head circumference, chest circumference and other parameters).

B = Biochemical (Laboratory) assessment (of blood and urine: enzyme activities, concentration of nutrients or other by products)

C = Clinical assessment (physical examination) (general appearance of skin, eye and tongue; rapid hair loss, sense of touch, ability to work and strong on ground)

Ds = Diet history: (usual intake or record of previous day’s meal) (ward law, 1999).

Nutritional status is important in adolescent and young adults because early detection and intervention can prevent disorder, and the fact that their body requires protein to provide amino acid necessary to form new tissues, calcium and vitamin D to promote the development and ossification of skeletal structures, iron to support blood cell formation, vitamin C for protection of structural tissues such as bone and cartilage.

If parents practices good nutrition and are flexible, they can lead adolescent and young adult healthful food habit, hence, a good chance of starting life with the nutrient needed to support brain and body growth

(Matthews, 1996).

PROJECT TOPIC- ASSESS THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS IN IZZI AND ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF EBONYI STATE

  • STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS

Adolescents and young adults are vulnerable to malnutrition and this may affect their physical and mental development due to inadequate food intake (Gorstein, 1990). Some of the nutritional practices of adolescents and young adults contribute to nutrition inadequacy (Hussian et al, 1985) In view of these problems of adolescent and young adult, so many methods have been designed for the nutritional status of this group. This work will focus on the use of anthropometric and food Frequency questionnaire to measure / determine the nutritional status of adolescent and young adult in Izzi and Abakaliki Local Government Area.

  • OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
    • General objective

The general objective of the study is to assess the nutritional status of adolescents and young adults in Izzi and Abakaliki local government areas of Ebonyi State.

  • Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the study are to

  1. Determine the socio-economic status of adolescents and young adults in Izzi and Abakaliki local government area of Ebonyi State.
  2. Determine the food consumption pattern of adolescents and young adults in Izzi and Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
  3. Determine the anthropometric measurement using weight, height and body mass index (BMI.
    • JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY.

The finding of this study will be very useful to health practitioners such as medical doctors, community nutritionist/Home Economist, Dieticians, community Health Extension workers, in educating the parents especially mothers and caregivers on dealing with the nutritional problems of adolescent and young adults.

The study will generate information which could be useful to the government in planning and making adequate arrangement for the well being of the adolescents and young adults.

It will also help Nutritionists/Home Economists in the selection and modification of food for adolescent and young adults well being.

PROJECT TOPIC- ASSESS THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS IN IZZI AND ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF EBONYI STATE

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