Background: It is rather unfortunate, that when compared to the developed countries, the children living in India disproportionately suffer from under nutrition, more so in the rural areas than their urban counterparts. This makes learning difficult, leads to low school enrolment, early dropouts, may seriously hamper the child’s intellectual growth and may also handicap the child for life. So, a need was felt to carry out a survey of the nutritional status of school children (age 5-15yrs) in various Zilla Parishad Schools in rural health training centre field practice area.
Study period: Nov’13to Feb ‘14
Methodology: A school-based study with cross-sectional design was adopted. A total of 470school children (240 boys and 230 girls), aged 5-15 years were examined from 6 randomly selected Zilla Parishad schools from RHTC field practice area. Height and weight of the children were measured, from which wasting, stunting and thinness were assessed. The public health problem of under nutrition was classified according to the World Health Organization classification for severity of malnutrition.
Results: In the present study the prevalence of underweight, stunting and thinness were 36.2%, 23% and 32.1% respectively. The prevalence of underweight and stunting was more in girls whereas thinness was found to be more among boys.
Conclusion: This study provided evidence that these school children were under acute and chronic nutritional stress indicating the requirement of immediate and appropriate public health nutritional intervention programs and modification of the currently existing ones.
Rural school children, anthropometry, BMI, malnutrition