Maternal employment status exerts strong influence over child feeding practices thus it reflects child nutrition status. This study was conducted to investigate the association of maternal employment status on nutritional status among 142 children aged 4-6 years old in selected kindergartens in Selangor, Malaysia. 2 out of 9 kindergartens were located at rural area while the other 7 kindergartens were located at urban area. The nutritional status of the children were assessed using anthropometrical data and diet record. The anthropometrical data were taken and later were compared with the WHO and CDC growth charts. Whereas, the diet record were analyzed and later compared with RNI. Prevalence of severely wasting was higher in unemployed mothers children (17%) than in employed mothers children (8%). Overall, energy intake of the boys was higher than recommendation with 101% for employed mothers and 125% for unemployed mothers. Protein intake of the boys were also higher than recommendation in both employed (221%) and unemployed (278%) mothers. There was a positive relationship found between maternal working hours and childs weight (r = 0.16, p<0.05) and BMI (r = 0.21, p<0.05). While, negative relationship was found between maternal working hours and childs energy (r = -0.270, p<0.001), protein (r = -0.265, p<0.001) and fat (r = -0.243, p<0.01) intake. Nevertheless, no relationship was found between mothers working hours and childs height (p = 0.745), calcium (p = 0.523) and iron (p = 0.219) intake. It is clearly proven that maternal employment status plays an essential role in determining child feeding practices which may influence childs health and development in later life.
Farhanah Shuhaimi and Naleena Devi Muniandy, 2012. The Association of Maternal Employment Status on Nutritional Status among Children in Selected Kindergartens in Selangor, Malaysia. Asian Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 4: 53-66.