The nutritional status of an individual is determined by the difference between food intake and utilization. Changes in food consumption and biological use will have an impact on nutritional status, either directly or indirectly. Nutritional status can range from normal to undernourished to overnourished. Malnutrition includes both inadequate and excessive nutrition. Some variables, such as the primary care provider’s hectic schedule or the inability to offer enough food and appropriate health care to maintain normal nutritional status, may have an impact on the nutritional status of children under the age of five. The factors that influence nutritional status vary by geography, community, and even through time. Governments and non-governmental organizations have worked to maintain normal nutritional status on a national and international level, but poor nutrition remains a major link to diseases and shorter life spans. One quarter of children under the age of five are stunted, according to Mamulwar, Rathod, Jethani, Dhone, Bakshi, Lanjewar et al. (2014). Many factors have been implicated to influence the nutritional status. Poor diet and disease are seen as immediate problems but there are underlying factors such food security, care practices of the mother, healthy environment and assessment of health facilities. Basic reasons, such as socioeconomic and political situations, are sometimes regarded to be underlying causes (Asegedech, 2014). Because this stage of life is considered critical for optimal growth, the nutritional health of children under the age of five is quite important (Badake, Maina, Mboganie, Muchemi, Kihoro, Chelimo, & Mutea, 2014). Undernutrition is a serious medical condition marked by a lack of bodily nutrition (energy, necessary proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals in a diet) as a result of insufficient food intake or poor digestion. Over 10 million children under the age of five die each year as a result of diseases that are easily preventable and treatable. Because of these countries’ low economies, the majority of these illnesses and deaths occur in poorer countries (Black, Morris & Bryce, 2003). Malnutrition is responsible for more than a third of all fatalities among children under the age of five, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (UNICEF, 2009).

Assessing the growth of children is an excellent criterion to look at the development of children, according to Badake, Maina, Mboganie, Muchemi, Kihoro, Chelimo, and Mutea, (2014). It also gives insight into food security in the area and assesses to good health care.

Poor nutritional status has necessitated a variety of programs and initiatives in several areas in order to enhance nutrition. As a result, specialists from numerous sectors are strategizing and assessing various nutrition-related initiatives (Macias & Glasauer, 2014). Nutritional status is one of the simplest indicators for evaluating the impact of nutrition-focused interventions, and it can be done in a variety of ways.

Various factors have been linked to the nutritional status of children under the age of five, and recurring episodes of sickness are common among these children. Inadequate food supply, caregiver capacity, lack of basic education, bad health systems, poor housing, and environmental circumstances are just a few of the issues. Communities that are unable to provide their residents’ basic needs are more likely to produce individuals with low anthropometric indices.

Several initiatives have been implemented to ensure that the children’s dietary needs are met (e.g. exclusive breastfeeding). In Nigeria, the exclusive breastfeeding rate is 17 percent, and it has also been proven that breastfeeding patterns are responsible with 21 percent of mortality among children under the age of five.

Adequate nutrition and health care during a child’s first few years of life are critical for their development and assist them maintain a healthy nutritional status. When there is a problem with food consumption or utilization early in infancy, it might result in an irreversible reduction in linear development and psychological damage (Alamu, Atawodi & Edokpayi, 2011). Early in life, growth is the most fast, and it may not be comparable to any other time following birth. Because healthy nutrition has been shown to play a crucial role in growth, particularly in the early years of life, it is critical to analyze the nutritional status of children under the age of five and the factors that influence it.

The importance of food to mankind, particularly to developing children, has been highlighted.

Reducing nutritional problems among children, particularly those under the age of five, is a huge challenge that different countries, particularly underdeveloped and developing countries, are facing. In Kenya, 35 percent of children under the age of five are stunted, 14 percent are severely stunted, and 16 percent are underweight (low weight for age), with 4 percent being severely underweight. According to many researchers, the main component responsible for all of these nutrition-related health concerns is food access, infections of all degrees and types, maternal/paternal variables, socio-economic factors, and other associated factors.

In this study, the integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) strategy will be utilized to classify nutritional status.

Globally, 795 million people are undernourished, according to Hunger Facts (2015). The vast majority of the undernourished (98 percent) live in developing countries. Undernutrition in children under the age of five is still a concern in many regions of the world. Undernutrition is responsible for about half of all fatalities in children under the age of five. This means that around 3 million young lives are lost unnecessarily each year (Hunger Facts, 2015). Nearly half of children in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly those under the age of five, are malnourished, and deaths from such conditions are on the rise (FAO, 2008). Nigeria is one of the developing countries afflicted by this nutrition-related problem (particularly in rural regions). This could be linked to characteristics seen in other parts of the world, such as a lack of access to food, a primary caregiver factor, a socioeconomic factor, a place of residence, and other associated issues. According to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (2003), 38 percent of children under the age of five have stunted growth, 29 percent are underweight, and 9.2 percent are wasting. This nutritional deficiency can be attributed to a number of circumstances. According to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) of Nigeria (2007), 7 percent of moms who have children under the age of six months adhere to exclusive breastfeeding.

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