Food frequency and nutritional status of Asian children in the WIC program

Khomsan, Ali
Major Professor
Rosalie J. Amos
Committee Member
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Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

Two sites were chosen as locations for the study: Ames, and Des Moines, Iowa. The sample consisted of 75 Asian children under five years old. A revised WIC food frequency was used to determine children's dietary scores that would reflect dietary intake. The mean dietary score was 15, which is taken to be equivalent to an intake of 80 to 100% of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for 11 nutrients. Stepwise regression identified children's age as the best predictor for children's dietary scores (p <.05);Anthropometric measurements of weight for age, height for age, and weight for height were used as indicators of children's growth that would reflect nutritional status. Gomez classification, which is based on weight for age ratio, classified 13.3% of children in the WIC program as mild malnutrition. Using the measurements of height for age and weight for height, the Waterlow classification indicated that 8.0% of the children were stunted and 1.3% wasted;Weight for age and height for age of children in small sized families were significantly different than children in large sized families (p <.01). Father's education was a significant factor in determining children's nutritional status. Less education was associated with lower nutritional status as measured by weight for age (p <.01), height for age (p <.01), and weight for height (p <.01). Mother's education was positively associated with children's weight for age (p <.01), height for age (p <.01), and weight for height (p <.01). The length of stay of the parents in the United States positively affected height for age of their children (p <.05) and 25% of the height for age variance was explained by combination of the length of stay of the parents in the United States and education of mother. The length of time in the WIC program was positively related to weight for age (p <.01) and weight for height (p <.01).