Nutritional status determined by anthropometric measurement among rural school children aged between (6-18 years) using WHO Z-score in our field practice area

Damayanthi M. N., Seema P.


Background: In India, children under 15 years of age constitute about 40% of the population. Nutrition among this age group is of vital importance as ill health leads to imbalance both in physical and mental growth. Hence this study was taken up to assess the nutritional status of school going children.

Methods: Study design: cross-sectional study. Study period: one year. Sample technique: purposive sampling. Data collection: by interview method. Anthropometric measurements were recorded. New WHO growth chart standards were considered in assessing stunting, underweight, thinness and obesity among these children. Data analysis: SPSS software version 19.

Results: A total of 932 children from 7 government schools were enrolled. 324 children were in the age group of 6-10 years. Among them 156 (48.14%) were underweight for their age and gender. In these 156, 89 (57%) were boys of whom 60% of them were 10 years of age. 67 (52.4%) were girls, among whom we found 27 (62.2%) were 10 years. There were 594 children who were stunted for their age. 274 (46.12%) were boys and 320 (53.87%) girls. Thinness was observed, which around 44.6% was, 175 children were severely thin for their age and gender. Overweight was 6.76% and 10 children were obese for their age and gender.

Conclusions: Malnutrition among children is a major public health problem in India. Stunting was seen in 274 boys and 320 girls, among them 148 (54%) and 184 (57.5%) girls were in the age of 11-15 years. Thinness was seen in 416 (44.6%) of children, among them 175 (18.8%) were severely thin for their age and gender. The present study will be useful for the policy makers to formulate various strategies and health care programmes of the population concern to combat the issue.


Nutritional status, Height, Weight, WHO-Z score

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