Objective: To find out prevalence of malnutrition in children of ages 1 month to 5 years visiting Nawaz Sharif Social Security Hospital, Lahore and various risk factors associated with it.
Methodology: It was a cross sectional questionnaire based study conducted in pediatric unit of Nawaz Sharif Social Security Hospital, Lahore from March 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014. All children from ages one month to 5 years who were not having any chronic ailment were included in the study.
Results: A Total of 750 children were included in this study, 366(48.8%) were males and 384(51.2%) were females. 217(29%) were having mild malnutrition, 105(14%) were having moderate malnutrition and 71(9.5%) were found to have severe malnutrition. Lack of exclusive breast feeding in first 6 months, lack of continued breast feeding till 2 years, eating non nutritious foods, delayed or inadequate weaning and female sex were important risk factors
Conclusion: Prevalence of malnutrition was high. Lack of breast feeding, inadequate weaning, eating non nutritious foods, female gender and illiterate mother are important risk factors. Joint efforts should be taken at community and national level to create awareness in people about importance of breast feeding, female literacy and safe healthy eating.
Malnutrition, breast feeding, weaning.