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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-81

Thinness among preschool children residing in rural area: A cross-sectional study

1 Assistant Professor, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
2 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, KLE University's Jawaharlal, Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
3 Lecturer in Biostatistics, Department of Community Medicine, KLE University's Jawaharlal, Nehru Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh K Nayak
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, SDM Medical College, Manjushree Nagar, Sattur, Dharwad - 580009, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-5009.157034

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Introduction: The legacy of malnutrition especially among preschool children is a huge obstacle to overall national development. India is home to more than one-third of the world's under-nourished children. While there is global acceptance that body mass index (BMI) should be used for assessment of obesity/adiposity in children, there has not been a similar consensus regarding use of BMI for assessment of under-nutrition in children. Materials and Methods: The present study was a community-based cross-sectional study carried out in a primary health center between January and December 2011. Study population comprised of 697 children aged between 2 and 5 years. Weight (kg) and height (cm) measurements were taken on each subject, and BMI was computed. Nutritional status was evaluated using the Cole's age- and sex-specific cut-off points of BMI. One-way ANOVA (F-test) was performed to test for age differences in means of weight, height, and BMI using SPSS statistical package. Results: A total of 339 boys and 358 females were studied. Result showed that age-combined prevalence of under-nutrition (Grades I, II, and III combined) among boys and girls was 63.4% and 58.6% respectively with an overall prevalence of 61.7%. There were significant mean differences between ages among boys in weight (F = 4.160; P < 0.001) and height (F = 6.502; P < 0.001). However, no significant mean differences between ages for BMI (F = 1.098; P = 0.295). Similar findings were seen among girls where in significant differences were observed in weight (F = 3.125, P < 0.001) and height (F = 6.895; P < 0.001) but not with BMI (F = 1.091; P = 0.311). Conclusion: Our study provided evidence that these children were under acute and chronic nutritional stress in the form of thinness.

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