Contribution of mid-day meal scheme to students nutrition in Bengaluru, India: time to re-look
Keywords:Calorie, Mid-day meal, Nutrition, PM-POSHAN, Protein
Background: The mid-day meal scheme (MDMS) in India is the world’s largest free school lunch program. In 2021, the scheme was renamed as PM-POSHAN (Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakthi Nirman). We conducted a study to quantify the routine daily dietary intake of school children with reference to calorie and protein intake and assess the proportion of calorie and protein intake from mid-day meals compared to routine daily intake.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in select five government schools of urban area of Bengaluru. From each school, a sample of 69 students (23 from each class i.e., 5th, 6th, and 7th standard) were selected using a computer-generated random number table amounting to a total sample size of 345. All the data were collected in a structured proforma and electronically entered using Microsoft Excel and analyzed using Epidata analysis software, version 3.1.
Results: Our study findings revealed that nearly 1 in 3.6 children have protein deficiency routinely in their diet and 1 in 7.5 children have both protein plus calorie deficiency.
Conclusions: Our study has the following programmatic implications: first, the protein deficiency among the school children in the age group 9 to 14 is considerably high. Second, it is imperative to evaluate the quality of food distributed to the schools and children at regular point of time. It is also necessary that the food served to the children should be customized to their taste and it should be locally accepted.
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