Published: 2021-02-25

Socio-epidemiological study of malnutrition and associated risk factors among under five children in rural Rajasthan

Anjana Verma, Dhriti Chugh, Ashish Patyal, Jitendra Kumar Meena, Medha Mathur


Background: Malnutrition continues to be a major problem in India and is rightfully described as “the silent emergency.” Sociocultural factors and rural urban disparity in health services in our country further impact the health outcomes. The effects of malnutrition are long-term and trap generations in the vicious circle of poverty. Improving nutrition is therefore essential to accelerate economic growth and development of the country.

Methods: It was a community-based cross-sectional study conducted among 200 under five children residing in rural Udaipur, Rajasthan. Random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. A structured validated questionnaire was used to collect socio demographic data, birth history, Anganwadi beneficiary status etc. Mid upper arm circumference (MUAC), weight and heights were recorded and classified as underweight, wasted and stunted, using standard World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

Results: This study revealed that 58% of the study population was stunted, 45% was wasted, 54% was underweight and 5% was overweight of the study population was overweight. Regarding the association of malnutrition parameters with other factors, it was found that malnutrition was high among female children, lower socioeconomic class, children of low educated mothers and children who were not exclusively breast fed.

Conclusions: To combat malnutrition in India, there is need of multifaceted approach, taking into account the sociocultural determinants, demographic variables, especially in rural areas. In addition to providing supplementary nutrition, innovations regarding specific interventions targeted towards vulnerable population is necessary.


Malnutrition, Risk factors, Rural, Under five children

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