Nutritional status of rural school-going children (11-13 years) of Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu, South India
Keywords:Children, Nutrition, Rural, Tamil Nadu
Background: The childhood years are characterized by rapid growth and development on both a physical and mental level. Compared to adults, they require a greater amount of nutrition per unit of body weight. The prevalence of undernutrition among schoolchildren is one of the foremost public health problems in developing countries such as India. Various studies have highlighted the burden of undernutrition nationwide among different groups in India. The objective of the present study was to assess the nutritional status of school children attending schools in Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among 972 school children of 11 to 13 years of age for 6 months by consecutive sampling technique. The children were assessed for nutritional status by clinical examination as well as anthropometric assessment and were compared with the WHO growth standards. Statistical analysis was conducted using SPSS version 22 on the data obtained.
Results: The mean age of the children was 12.11±0.8 of which 491(51%) were boys and 481 (49%) were girls. Among children, the prevalence of underweight, overweight, and obesity was 565 (58%), 25 (2.6%), and 23 (2.4%) respectively.
Conclusions: The burden of undernutrition is indeed a serious concern in the rural school children of Dharmapuri district in Tamilnadu. The importance of routine school health visits is stressed and this issue needs to be addressed promptly through a multipronged approach.
Doak CM, Adair LS, Monteiro C, Popkin BM. Overweight and underweight coexist within households in Brazil, China and Russia. J Nutri. 2000;130(12):2965-71.
Caballero B. The global epidemic of obesity: an overview. Epidemiol Revi. 2007;29(1):1-5.
Smith LC, Ruel MT, Ndiaye A. Why is child malnutrition lower in urban than in rural areas? Evidence from 36 developing countries. World Develop. 2005;33(8):1285-305.
Hariharan S, Edward S. Assessment of nutritional status and feeding practices of under-five children in an urban area of Kancheepuram District, Tamilnadu. Ann Roman Soci Cell Biol. 2021:2936-49.
Doku D, Koivusilta L, Raisamo S, Rimpelä A. Socio-economic differences in adolescents’ breakfast eating, fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in Ghana. Pub Heal Nutrit. 2013;16(5):864-72.
Soliman A, De Sanctis V, Elalaily R. Nutrition and pubertal development. Ind J Endocrinol Metabol. 2014;18(Suppl 1):S39.
MoHFW. Operational Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Public Health Facilities, 2013. Available at: https://qps.nhsrcindia.org/sites/default/files/2022-04/Operational_Guidelines_on_Quality_Assurance_in_Public_Health_Facilities_2013.pdf. Accessed on 11 May 2023.
WHO. The WHO Child Growth Standards. https://www.who.int/tools/child-growth-standards/standards. Accessed 26 April 2023.
Jasmine Sharmila MK, Umadevi Jeyakumar R, Anantha Eashwar VM. Prevalence and determinants of under-nutrition among children aged 5-10 years in an urban area of Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu. Int J Comm Med Pub Heal. 2020;7(11):4449.
WHO. WHO Expert Committee on Physical Status: the Use and Interpretation of Anthropometry (1993: Geneva, Switzerland) & World Health Organization. (1995). Physical status: the use of and interpretation of anthropometry, report of a WHO expert committee. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/37003. Accessed on 13 May 2023.
National Family Health Survey. http://rchiips.org/nfhs/. Accessed 26 April 2023.
Bhuvanesh AK, Vaisakh GT, Ashok VG. Prevalence of malnutrition based on anthropometric measures among school children in rural Tamilnadu - a cross sectional study. IJSR. 2022;11(12):80-2.
Shivaprakash NC, Joseph RB. Nutritional status of rural school going children (6 12 Years) of Mandya District, Karnataka. Inter J Scient Study. 2014;2(2):39-43.
Sehra R, Bairwa A, Khatri P, Berwal P, Nagaraj N. A study of nutritional status and common health problems of street children in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. Int J Comm Med Public Health. 2016;3(11):3040-4.
Selvaraj V, Sangareddi S, Velmurugan L, Muniyappan U, Anitha FS. Nutritional status of adolescent school children in a semi-urban area based on anthropometry. Int J Contemp Pediatr. 2016;3(2):468-72.
Shanmugam K, Ravishankar SL, Kannappan S, Chacko TV. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among children aged 5-15 years in a rural school in Coimbatore. Inter J Medi Sci Pub Heal. 2016;5(10):2186-90.