DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20164277

A community based cross-sectional study on the assessment of nutritional status of children

Rajendran NK, Palanivel Rajan T., Varun Kumar T.

Abstract


Background: Malnutrition is major public health problem in developing countries. Nutrition plays a vital role, as inadequate nutrition during childhood may lead to malnutrition, growth retardation, reduced work capacity and poor mental and social development. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the objectives of finding the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity and associated socio-demographic factors among the rural children in South India.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted from August 2015 to July 2016 in rural areas of Coimbatore district in South India. Complete enumeration of children less than 18 years of age was done in 5 villages. Data were collected from 1562 study subjects and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Binary logistic regression was done.

Results: Among 1562 study subjects, 1308 (83.7%) had their BMI below 18.5 and were found to be under-weight. Only 21 (1.3%) were found to be over-weight and 2 (0.1%) were obese. Under-weight among children was significantly associated with younger age (p-value=0.000), lower educational qualification of mother (p-value = 0.000) and lower socio-economic class (p-value=0.000).

Conclusions: The study has revealed that the prevalence of under-weight among children in rural areas is high in India. The results have also highlighted the fact that there is an urgent need to take effective steps in curbing this problem.

Keywords


Children, India, Nutritional status, Rural areas

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