Nutritional Status of School Age Children in Urban Slum Area in Vijayawada and Guntur
NRI Medical College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Nutritional deficiency may result in adverse health consequences. Socio-cultural practices, financial condition, awareness of parents and local factors influence the nutritional status. Malnutrition is one of the leading health issues in India. Aim: To assess the nutritional status of school age children and the influence of socioeconomic status on nutrition.
Materials and Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted among 208 numbers of school children (4-14 years) in Guntur and Vijayawada slum areas during July and August 2018. Semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect anthropometric and general data. Anthropometric measurements such as weight in Kg and height in cm were recorded. Chi-square test, unpaired t-test and Multivariate analysis were used to assess nutritional status at 5% level of significance.
Results: The prevalence of stunted children (low height for age), Wasted children (low BMI for age) were 46.63% and 48.08%, respectively. The percentage of children with underweight (low weight for age), overweight (high BMI for age) were 68.27% and 4.80%, respectively. 53.85% underweight children belonged to lower socioeconomic status. No difference in prevalence was observed among boys and girls for stunting and underweight (p>0.05). The mean heights of normal and stunted children were significantly different (p<0.01). The mean weights of normal and underweight were significantly different (p<0.01). The mean BMIs of normal and wasted children were significantly different (p<0.01).
Conclusion: Both boys and girls had equal prevalence of malnutrition. Prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting were more than that of national prevalence. Underweight are significantly high in low socio-economic status and nuclear family.