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Product Code: 00006721

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The study was carried out to assess the food security and anthropometric status of young adults in Idemili North Local Government of Anambra State. A cross-sectional survey was adopted to study a population of young adults’ aged 20–35years using a calculated sample size of 400 randomly identified and selected across the study area. Information regarding basic characteristics, socio-economic and anthropometric status of young adults was obtained using a well-structure administered questionnaire while anthropometric measurements were carried out to determine body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) using standard procedures. Statistical analysis was carried out to determine association and relationship between variables using Chi-square test and Regression correlation analysis respectively at (p≤0.05) significant level. The results for socio-economic variables showed that there were more male participants (53%) than females (47%). More than half (55.2%) of the respondents recorded 4-6 household members, some (49.0%) attained secondary school education level, trading and artisan work were the most predominant occupation (52.0%) while only 19.2% earned above ₦60,000 as monthly income. Using the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), the prevalence of food insecurity was 65.5%. Body mass index indicated that 23% were overweight while underweight was 10.5% and obesity 19% with 47.5% having normal body weight. The female young adults were more at risk of abdominal obesity with 38% prevalence as against male young adult (31.2%). Chi-square test established significant association (p<0.05) between body mass index (BMI) and basic socio-economic variables such as sex, marital status, level of education and occupation while waist-hip ratio (WHR) was significantly associated with basic socio-economic variables such as sex and income level. Regression correlation model indicated no significant relationship (p>0.05) between food security status and anthropometric variables of young adults. Food security status correlated positively and more strongly with WHR than BMI. It was therefore concluded that there was high prevalence of food insecurity and abnormal body weights among young adults which are influenced by socio-economic variables. 



1.1 Statement of problem 3   
1.2 Objectives of the study 5
1.3 Significance of the study 6

2.1 Food 7
2.2 Nutritive qualities of food 7
2.3 Definitions of food security 10
2.4 Concept and ideology of food security 11
2.4.1 Food availability 13
2.4.2 Food access 13
2.4.3 Food utilization 13
2.5 Factors affecting food security in Nigeria 14
2.5.1 Determinants of food security status in Nigeria 17
2.6 The state of food and nutrition security in Nigeria 18
2.7 The scourge of malnutrition 19
2.8 Anthropometric measurement and its relevance in determining nutritional status  21
2.8.1 Weight Measurement 23
2.8.2 Height measurement 23
2.8.3 Body mass index and its classification 24
2.8.4 Waist circumference and hip circumference 25
2.8.5 Waist-hip ratio 27
2.9 Young adult 27

3.1 Research design 29
3.2 Area of study 29
3.3 Population of the study 30
3.4 Sampling and sampling techniques 30
3.4.1 Sample size 30
3.4.2 Sampling technique 33
3.5 Preliminary activities 33
3.5.1 Preliminary visits 33
3.5.2 Training of research assistants 33
3.5.3 Informed Consent 34
3.6 Data collection 34
3.6.1 Questionnaire administration 34
3.6.2 Interview 34
3.6.3 Anthropometric measurements 35
3.6.4 Measurement of food security status 36
3.7 Data analysis 37
3.8 Statistical analysis 38

4.1 Basic characteristics and socio economic status of the young adults 39
4.2 Prevalence of food insecurity among the young adults 43
4.3 Anthropometric status of the young adults stew samples 46
4.4 Association between basic characteristics, socio-economic status
 and anthropometric status 50
4.5 Relationship between food security and anthropometric status of young adults 54

5.1 Conclusion 58
5.2 Recommendations 59
References 61
Appendix 70


3.1: World health organization (WHO) classification of BMI 38

4.1: Basic characteristics and socio–economic status of young adults 42

4.2: Prevalence of food insecurity among the young adults 45

4.3: Prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity among the young adults 48

4.4: Risk of abdominal obesity (WHR) among young adults According to sex 49

4.5: Association between basic characteristics, socioeconomic status and BMI status of the young adults 52

4.6 Association between basic characteristics, socioeconomic status and WHR of the young adults 53

4.7 Pearson regression model for relationship between food security status and anthropometric variables 56

4.8 Pearson correlations for food security, BMI and WHR 57


According to United Nations Organization, food security is defined as "People having at all times, physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life" (United Nations Organization(UNO), 2007). Over a billion people live under conditions of extreme poverty (i.e., earning less than US$1 dollar per day). Globally over 900 million people are said to be chronically hungry out of which 800 million are from the developing countries representing about 18 percent of the world’s population (Baje, 2008). Food security is a major determinant of nutrition security that can only be fully understood through a multi-level analysis taking into account global, national/regional, as well as local, household and individual-level factors (Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), 2012). Reducing food insecurity continues to be a major public policy challenge in developing countries like Nigeria. Almost one billion people worldwide are undernourished, many more suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and the absolute numbers tend to increase further, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (FAO, 2007). In Nigeria, some school of thoughts believe that there is enough aggregate production of food but and that the observed food security problems are the result of unequal economic access to available food supplies, rooted in unequal distribution of income and wealth (Makinde, 2000). 

Malnutrition is a major public health issue highlighted by the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, target 2.2 aspiring to end hunger by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals, 2016). Malnutrition, either as under or over nutrition, alters body composition, and increases susceptibility to illnesses that may be prevented or delayed through the provision of nutrition interventions (Tsai et al., 2007). Thus, appropriate nutrition interventions are dependent on the comprehensive assessment of nutritional status (Marais et al., 2007).

Anthropometric measurements are important nutritional status indicators, as they provide information on body size, proportion and distribution of body fat, lean body mass and the risk of chronic diseases (Seidell et al., 2001). They are valuable in predicting mortality, in determining changes in nutritional status over time, and in monitoring the effectiveness of nutritional intervention (Kagansky et al., 2005; Coqueiro et al., 2009). Both low and high body measurements have negative implications for health. Body mass index (BMI) is commonly used to classify underweight, overweight and obesity in adults while waist circumference (WC) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) are the measures of visceral or abdominal fat mass which is an indicator used to identify individuals at increased risk from obesity-related illnesses due to abdominal fat accumulation (Snijder et al., 2006). Underweight, overweight and obesity have been linked to several morbidities and mortality and are therefore considered as abnormal or unhealthy body weights (Flegal et al., 2005).  

Young adult is conceived as a transitory stage of life between adolescence and adulthood, is in fact a “modern” social category perspective known as youth (Walther, 2006). Youth is understood as a construct of the “modern industrial society” that, being centered on production and working life. A young adult is generally a person ranging in age from their late teens or early twenties to their thirties (20-35 years) and is a stage of human development that precedes middle adulthood. Persons in this age bracket years (20-35) are generally at the peak of their strength, biological functions and health, and are not subject to the problems of senescence (Vandegrift, 2015). 

Food security information on the quantity and quality of energy and nutrients intakes from food consumed by this age group will translate into conformity or deviant to body mass and composition. Anthropometric measurements of this age group will give an insight into the overall nutritional and health status of a given population and will help to determine the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity in relation to food security status among the young adults in Idemili North Local Government. Therefore, this study sought to assess the food security and anthropometric status of young adults in Idemili North Local Government of Anambra State. 

Food is a basic necessity of life. Food problem, with regards to quality and quantity, is a global issue and one of the characteristics of developing countries like Nigeria. According to a FAO, (2015) report, despite Nigeria having achieved the reduction of undernourishment of the population by more than half, from 19.3% in 1990 to 8.5% in 2010 to 2012, the number of people who are undernourished in Nigeria increased from roughly 10 million to almost 13 million from 2010 to 2012. Globally, more than 1.1 billion people in the world are estimated to be overweight and 320 million was estimated to be obese with the proportion of adults with a body-mass index (BMI) of 25 kg/m2 or greater (overweight or obese) increased between 1980 – 2013 from 28·8% to 36·9% in men, and from 29·8% to 38·0% in women (Ng et al., 2014). In Nigeria, a 2008 WHO report puts the prevalence of overweight and obesity at 26.8% and 6.5%, respectively (WHO, 2011). The prevalence of obesity in semi-urban dwelling young adults in Nigeria is as high as 13.2% (Ejike et al., 2010). 

The problem of food insecurity is global but the frequency and effects are more severe in developing countries like Nigeria. It is estimated that over 900 million people worldwide are chronically hungry and of these, 800 million representing about 18% of the world's population live in developing countries (Baje, 2008). Several studies have been carried out on the prevalence of food insecurity among households in Nigeria indicating different alarming rates. (Sanusi et al., 2006) reported an increased rate from 18% in 1986 to over 40% in 2005. Akelele et al, (2013) also reported a higher prevalence in the low income urban house-holds and rural areas respectively to be 79% and 71%. Similar alarming rate of 61.8% among households in Southern Nigeria and 62.8% in North Central Nigeria by Omuemu et al., (2012) and Babatunde et al., (2007) respectively have also been reported. In Ondo State, the prevalence of household food insecurity ranges between 57-82% as reported in studies conducted in 2005, 2009 and 2011 (Ijarotimi and Oyeneyin, 2005; Oluyole et al., 2009;).

However, there is scanty and limited information on food security and anthropometric status of young adults which are generally the age group of persons at the peak of strength, biological functions and health in Idemili North L.G.A, Anambra State. The study is designed to assess food security and anthropometric status of young adults in Idemili North L.G.A, Anambra State.

The general objective of this study is to assess the food security and anthropometric status of young adults in Idemili North Local Government of Anambra State.

The specific objectives of this study are to:

1. Assess the basic characteristics, socio-economic and food security status of the young adults.

2. Determine the anthropometric status of the young adults.

3. Determine the association between basic characteristics, socio-economic and anthropometric status of the young adults.

4. Determine the relationship between food security and anthropometric status of the young adults.

The findings of this work will contribute to available researched knowledge and a reference tool for researchers and healthcare practitioners on food security and anthropometric status of young adults in the study area and Nigeria in general. 

The findings of this study will also be relevant for public health standpoint of view by revealing the prevalence of food insecurity, underweight, overweight and obesity in the study area thereby. The study findings will also be useful for policy and decision makers in planning for nutritional intervention programmes by government, non-governmental and international agencies for the study area or population.

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