Nutritional status and dietary intake among unmarried adolescent girls in rural area of Chittoor district: a community based survey

S. Uday Kumar Reddy, Sirshendu Chaudhuri, Syeda Fathima Amrin, Gunasekaran Rabeka


Background: Nutritional status and dietary intake during adolescent period play a crucial role in their mental and physical development. Objectives of the present study were to estimate the prevalence of undernutrition, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), among unmarried adolescent girls in rural area of Chittoor district; to estimate the average daily intake of different macro and micro-nutrients, i.e., calorie, protein and iron, by the same group by 24-hour dietary recall method; and to identify individual and family level determinants for undernutrition and decreased intake of nutrients.

Methods: In this cross-sectional community-based survey anthropometric measurements were done, and dietary intake of unmarried adolescent girls was assessed by 24-hour recall method.

Results: Majority is suffering from poor nutrient intake. This is more prominent for calcium [25.1-40.9% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)] and energy intake (68.6-88.9% of RDA). Only 55% of the adolescents get iron supplementation; rests consume minimal iron (8.5gm) on average. Prevalence of thinness and stunting was 29.4% (95% CI: 20.4%, 38.4%) and 21.4% (95% CI: 13.3, 29.5%) respectively. Economic and housing conditions were associated with low dietary intake and poor nutritional status. Considerable cluster-wise variation exists for both the conditions.

Conclusions: High prevalence of stunting and thinness together with substantial macro and micro-nutrient deficiency exist among adolescent girls. Existing national programs for this age group needs adequate supervision. Awareness development regarding locally available low-cost nutritious food together with periodic anthropometric measurements is required.



Adolescent, Determinants, Dietary intake, Nutritional status, Stunting, Thinness

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