Effect of Maternal Diet Diversity and Physical Activity on Neonatal Birth Weight: A Study from Urban Slums of Mumbai
Dr. Devaki Gokhale,
Assistant Professor, Symbiosis School of Biological Sciences, Symbiosis International University,
Gram-lavale, Taluka-Mulshi, Pune-412115, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: India has the highest prevalence of low birth weight babies. Geographical variation and level of physical activity can influence diet diversity and maternal nutritional status which in turn influences the birth weight of the neonate. Mumbai is a large city comprising of slums in suburbs depicting diet diversity amongst populations.
Aim: To study the maternal diet diversity, physical activity and its effect on birth weight of the neonates in urban slums of Mumbai.
Materials and Methods: A six month follow-up study was carried out in three maternity homes representing different geographical areas of Western, Central and Southern Mumbai. A total number of 131 pregnant women were selected using simple random sampling. Final sample size was n=121 after follow-up loss of 9 and 1 miscarriage. Maternal anthropometric, socio-demographic, physical activity and diet diversity data was collected using structured questionnaires through personal interview after taking written informed consent. Birth weight of the neonate was recorded. Chi-Square, Correlation, ANOVA was used to test the significance. A p-value of <0.05 was considered to be significant.
Results: Nineteen (15.7%) were low birth weight (LBW) infants, 102 (84.3%) had normal weight. There was a significant association between place of Antenatal Clinic (ANC) visit and diet diversity score and its subsequent effect on birth weight (p<0.05). Geographic variation had an impact on diet diversity scores which in turn affected the birth weight of neonates. Women who delivered low birth weight babies were more involved in household domestic activities (p<0.05) compared to those women who delivered normal weight babies.
Conclusion: Diet diversity and physical activity influence the birth weight of neonates across different geographic locations. Despite of ample interventions available to prevent maternal malnutrition, the incidence of LBW was not decreased. Thus, this issue needs to be addressed at the national level to curb the problem of low birth weight especially among the urban slums that are rapidly encroaching.