A survey on the relationship between Mothers’ health literacy about nutritional habits and anthropometric indices in primary school students in Sari

Document Type : Original Article


1 BSc Student of Public Health, Students Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, Health Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Health, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Basic Sciences and Nutrition, Health Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Public Health, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

4 MSc Student of Biostatistics , Students Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran


Background and objective: Nutritional habits are formed during childhood, especially adolescents. Mothers play the most influential role in this regard. Maternal health literacy affects the weight and height of children. The aim of this study was to determine Mothers’ health literacy about nutritional habits and anthropometric indices in primary school students in Sari in 2017.

Methods: Materials and Methods: This correlation study was performed on 211 elementary school students in Sari. Mothers' health literacy was assessed by using researcher-made questionnaire. Students' height and weight were recorded by instructed subjects and anthropometric indices were calculated by WHO AnthroPlus software 4 and according to the World Health Organization (WHO 2007). Data analysis was performed with SPSS 20 software and the descriptive and inferential statistical methods was used (Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis test and Spearman correlation coefficient).

Results: Findings showed that 71.4% of mothers had a good level of health literacy and 26.2% of them had good health literacy. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among students was in sequence 22.3% and 16.1%. In addition, 4.6% of students had mild to severe underweight and 2.3% of students had mild to severe stunting. There was a positive correlation between maternal health literacy for age, height for age and body mass index for age of students, which was not statistically significant.

Conclusion: With Consideration of the moderate level of maternal health literacy and the relatively high prevalence of overweight and obesity in students, it is essential the comprehensive intervention and empowerment of students, families and the participation of decision-makers in choosing healthy eating habits.

Paper Type: Research Article.


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