Assessment of nutritional status among school children of Karimnagar, Telangana, India

M. Kamran Shaikh, Nitin Kamble, Dhiraj Bhawnani, Samir Bele, Sita Rama Rao


Background: Children are the country's biggest human investment for development. Quality of life of school children, by all standards continues to be poor more so in rural areas and urban slums. Hence evaluation nutritional status of the children is imperative as it is an important index of the national investment in the development of its future manpower. Nutritional status during school age is a major determinant of nutritional and health status in adult life. Globally, including India, health hazards associated with under-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies remain major public health problems. Therefore comprehensive health care of this section will fulfils the health need of these vulnerable populations.

Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted among children (Aged 6 to11 years) from selected government primary schools (Urban and Rural) of Karimnagar city, Telangana, India during study period November 2011 to October 2012. The calculated sample size was 820. Children were interviewed during school and examined in classrooms with the assistance of teachers. The background information of respondents was collected by personal interview and supplemental information was gathered from the school registers and parents. Nutritional status of the children was assessed by anthropometry using standardized techniques.

Results: There were total 820 children out of which 410 were belonging to rural area and similar numbers of children were in urban area. Age range of the children was between 6 to 11 years. Age distributions in context to school area showed that maximum numbers of children were in age of 7 and 10 years (11.8 per cent each) in rural area and 6 and 9 years (8.7 per cent in and 10.2 per cent respectively) in urban area. Out of total children 401, (48.9 per cent) were boys and 419, (51.1 per cent) were girls. There was marginal difference observed between the proportion of boys and girls in urban and rural areas. In rural areas girls accounted for 27.1 per cent whereas in urban area boys accounted for 26 per cent of total sample. Mean caloric intake of children was deficient in relation to reference standards for all age groups and both sexes. Mean caloric intake among boys was better in early age (6 to 8 years) but in later ages their intake was less than girls as per reference. Among rural children 29.3 per cent were underweight as compared to 22.2 per cent urban children. Similarly 21.5 per cent children were stunted in rural and 16 per cent from urban areas.

Conclusions: Under nutrition were the key findings of the present study especially in rural areas. Hence emphasis on primordial and primary preventive measures like health education should be given for this section of students. 


Nutritional profile, School children, Stunting, Wasting

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