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Nutritional Status of Adolescent Afghan Refugees Living in Peshawar, Pakistan

Kabir Medical College, Department of Biochemistry, Gandhara University, Canal Road University Town, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan
Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan
School of Biological Sciences, Health and Life Sciences Building, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AX, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gulam Khandaker
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3072;
Received: 2 August 2021 / Revised: 22 August 2021 / Accepted: 28 August 2021 / Published: 31 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Status among Vulnerable Populations)
Pakistan has hosted millions of Afghan refugees over the last several decades. Due to poor socioeconomic status, food insecurity and inadequate access to health care, these refugees are considered to be at high risk of malnutrition. Previous studies on nutritional assessment of high-risk populations (refugees) have focused mainly on women and children (0–59 months). The current study aims to assess nutritional status of adolescent Afghan refugees; the population who are equally vulnerable to malnutrition and its consequences. In this cross sectional study, the nutritional status of 206 adolescent (10–19 years old) Afghans boys and girls living in a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan was assessed using standard methods. The results indicate a prevalence of stunting, thinness, and overweight and obesity at 35.3%, 4.4% and 14.8%, respectively. Furthermore, there was a significantly high prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies (vitamin D, 80.5%; vitamin B12, 41.9%; and folate, 28.2%); and anemia (10.1%). Together, these findings indicate that this vulnerable population group suffers from the double burden of malnutrition and are thus at serious risk of impaired psychosocial cognitive development, general ill-health and diminished wellbeing. This study therefore highlights the urgent need to include adolescents in regular screening and intervention programs of such at-risk populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: malnutrition; vulnerable; stunting; micronutrients deficiency; anemia; vitamins malnutrition; vulnerable; stunting; micronutrients deficiency; anemia; vitamins
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MDPI and ACS Style

Saeedullah, A.; Khan, M.S.; Andrews, S.C.; Iqbal, K.; Ul-Haq, Z.; Qadir, S.A.; Khan, H.; Iddrisu, I.; Shahzad, M. Nutritional Status of Adolescent Afghan Refugees Living in Peshawar, Pakistan. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3072.

AMA Style

Saeedullah A, Khan MS, Andrews SC, Iqbal K, Ul-Haq Z, Qadir SA, Khan H, Iddrisu I, Shahzad M. Nutritional Status of Adolescent Afghan Refugees Living in Peshawar, Pakistan. Nutrients. 2021; 13(9):3072.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Saeedullah, Anum, Muhammad S. Khan, Simon C. Andrews, Khalid Iqbal, Zia Ul-Haq, Syed A. Qadir, Haris Khan, Ishawu Iddrisu, and Muhammad Shahzad. 2021. "Nutritional Status of Adolescent Afghan Refugees Living in Peshawar, Pakistan" Nutrients 13, no. 9: 3072.

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