Maternal nutrition is a well documented determinant of pregnancy outcome. Maternal anthropometry has been shown to be a predictor of the occurrence or otherwise of low birth weight, foetal macrosomia, increased maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality. Rural-urban differences in nutritional status have been documented in literature. A cross-sectional comparative study of the anthropometric indices of 720 pregnant women accessing antenatal care at selected rural and urban primary health centres in Ogun State, Nigeria was carried out, using semi-structured, interviewer-administered questionnaires, adult weighing scales, a stadiometre and measuring tapes. The mean height, weight, and body mass index of rural participants were higher than those of urban participants, although the difference was not significant (p > 0.05) for these parameters. The mean mid-upper arm circumference value for urban participants was significantly higher (p = 0.014) than that of the rural participants. Community-level nutritional interventions, including adequate feeding of the girl child, will help to improve maternal nutrition in developing countries.
Key words: Maternal, anthropometry, pregnant, rural, urban.
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