A study of the dietary habits of school children in Pune city, Maharashtra, India

Authors

  • Reema Mukherjee Department of Community Medicine, Army College of Medical Sciences, Delhi Cantt, India
  • Sanjay Chaturvedi Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20170296

Keywords:

Dietary intake, Developing countries, Dietary preferences, School children

Abstract

Background: Diet and nutrition of children influence their current health status and scholastic performance and also have long term consequences reaching well into their adulthood. Further, diet preferences and practices acquired during childhood usually persist for life. Data on nutritional intake of school children is required by public health policy makers to be able to formulate nutritional intervention and also for nutritionists and general practioners to be able to advice parents and care givers regarding the inadequacies in the diet. This study was carried out in Pune city, to study the dietary patterns and preferences of school children in the age group five to eleven years.

Methods: Qualitative diet survey was carried out by oral questionnaire method. The data collected was on the food habits, frequency of various types of food eaten and the preferences/dislike to various food items. A database was created in MS Excel and Epi Info was used to analyze data. Appropriate inferential and descriptive statistics were calculated.

Results: Around 50% of the children were non-vegetarians and only around 6% were vegetarians. Around 70% of children consumed milk daily though a majority insisted that milk is their least preferred food item. Only 5% children consumed green leafy vegetables daily. A majority of children consumed fruits two to six times. Snacks, fast food and processed food were the most preferred food by the children.

Conclusions: Food habits acquired during childhood persist into adulthood and form the basis of either good health or ill health, as the case may be, in the coming years. Hence there is a need to educate parents, especially in the middle and higher socioeconomic groups regarding correct dietary habits for the children to ensure that they can live healthy and productive lives as adults.

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Published

2017-01-25

How to Cite

Mukherjee, R., & Chaturvedi, S. (2017). A study of the dietary habits of school children in Pune city, Maharashtra, India. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 4(2), 593–597. https://doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20170296

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Original Research Articles