Evaluation of nutritional status of children aged 5-14 years in rural areas of Kanpur

Anju Gahlot, Som Nath, Pravin K. Sinha


Background: Despite India's 50% increase in GDP since 1991, more than one third of the world's malnourished children live in India. The prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world. In this endeavor, we have under-taken empirical research to evaluate the nutritional status of children aged 5-14 years and to improve nutritional status of children living in rural areas of Kanpur.

Methods: This is a cross sectional study conducted amongst children aged 5-14 years in rural area of Kanpur. Children were examined clinically and height and weight were measured following standard procedures. MS Excel and Interactive statistics page were used for analysis of data.

Results: Mean age of subjects (in years) was 10.09±2.57 and 9.43±2.42 of males and females respectively. Prevalence of underweight was 39.4%; underweight female (41.1%) and males (38.1%). Prevalence of stunting was 27.8%; girls 36.8% and males 20.3%. Thinness (BMI for age/sex <-2SD) was found in 26.6% of children. The prevalence of pallor was found in 27.5% subjects with Thinness. This association was found statistically significant (X2=6.250, p=0.001). Dental carries was found in 49 (13.61%) but in subjects with BMI < -2SD (thinness), 23 out of 92 had dental carries. This association was found statistically significant (X2=13.632, p=0.001).

Conclusions: The problem of underweight is still high in rural areas. Total 27.8% children were stunted showing chronic malnutrition. This needs to be tackled through adequate nutrition and health education. Nearly 40 percent of the children were under-weight; an acute condition if not corrected at earlier stage may progress to severe form of malnutrition.


Children of age group 5-14 years, Anthropometry, Underweight, Stunting, Thinness

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