Impact of the child support grant on the diet and nutritional status of children under 5 years old in Mogalakwena Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa

M J Kekana, R S Mabapa, X G Mbhenyane,


Background. Studies have shown that poverty has reduced in households receiving a child support grant (CSG), and that it has contributed to improving the lives of beneficiaries.
Objectives. The study objectives were to determine the contribution of the CSG to the diet and nutritional status of children under 5 years old.

Methods. The study was a cross-sectional descriptive survey with an analytical component of 189 caregiver-child pairs receiving CSGs from Mogalakwena Municipality. Data were collected by using a validated questionnaire and anthropometric measurements.
Results. About 36.5% of caregivers were between the ages of 26 and 35 years, 75.7% unmarried, and 84.1% unemployed. The mean (standard deviation (SD)) age of children was 2.84 (1.33) years of whom 77.8% lived in a household of more than 5 people. Most caregivers received nutritional education from relatives, 71.1% were never educated about nutrition, and 57.9% of children were fed 3 times/day. The child support grant was used by 94.2% of recipients to buy food, with an average monthly expenditure of ZAR171.55 (155.25), while the proportion of the total grant spent on food was 44%. There was a 53.5% prevalence of stunting, 32.3% of wasting and 5.3% underweight among the children, while 22.1% of caregivers were overweight and 12.1% obese.

Conclusion. Most caregivers were not taught about child feeding. The proportion of CSG spent on food was less than 50%, with most bought food being of low nutritional quality. The prevalence of wasting and stunting was very high, accompanied by a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in caregivers.

Authors' affiliations

M J Kekana, Department of Health, Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa

R S Mabapa, Department of Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, Limpopo, South Africa

X G Mbhenyane,, Division of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2020;14(1):15-19.

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-04-23
Date published: 2020-04-23

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