Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Hazel W. Forsythe


Objectives: The goal of this project was to determine the nutritional needs of preschool age children to help guide intervention development. The research aims were 1) to examine and describe young child (ages one to five) nutritional status as it relates to key nutrients associated with stunting and wasting; 2) to determine what key macro- and micro-nutrient deficiencies (primarily iron and zinc) are associated with wasting and stunting.


Study sample: Sixty-seven families with children ages one to five who participating in routine health care clinic visits during the UK Shoulder to Shoulder Global health brigade visits.

Study design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted collecting demographic data, medical history, and dietary intake. Objective measures of height/length and weight were completed; and blood samples were drawn to measure serum micronutrient levels. Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) identified nutrient intakes for analytical comparison based on growth parameters. Nutritional and health status were compared to food security and World Health Organization growth reference points of standard deviations on Z-scores of height-for-age and weight-for-age.

Analyses: Chi Square, ANOVA, and binary logistic regression tests were run using Statistical Analysis System (SAS)

Results: Low serum levels of zinc and iron corresponded to low levels of dietary intake of zinc and iron, limited food security and moderate stunting z = -0 to 1.99 Standard Deviation.

Conclusion: This study will inform a comprehensive nutritional intervention for this population. The evidence that specific nutrients are limiting will focus the health promotion objectives.