Children’s Understanding of Malnutrition as Revealed by their Drawings: The Cas of Selected Rural Communities in Baybay City, Leyte

Vincent Justine L. Realino, Ulderico B. Alviola


Proactive actions are needed to reduce the persistent problem of malnutrition among children in the country. In order to successfully realize these interventions, there is a need to determine children’s understanding of malnutrition. This study was conducted to determine informants’ understanding of malnutrition based on their drawings. Data were gathered through a drawing session. The study was conducted in three (3) selected rural communities in Baybay City, Leyte where malnutrition is prevalent. Most of the informants’ drawings were in pre-schematic stage. The most dominant elements found in the informants’ drawings were junk foods. Majority of the informants associated malnutrition as having a thin, small, and sickly body. Surprisingly, all of the informants associated malnutrition with being unhappy. Furthermore, informants depicted malnutrition as caused by consuming unhealthy foods and drinks, poverty, and lack of exercise. Unexpectedly, sadness has also been considered as a cause of malnutrition, as revealed by the informants. Results suggest that informants had little understanding of malnutrition. Though the informants had valid understanding about the common causes that lead to malnutrition, those ideas are not enough. The other types of malnutrition have also been lacking in the drawings, which prove that the informants have a very confined image of what malnutrition is all about.  It would be best to raise more awareness about malnutrition through classroom discussions to be carried out by teachers.


Malnutrition among children; children’s perception; children’s drawings


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