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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 233-236

Nutritional status assessment of school children in Mangalore city using the multicenter growth reference study WHO 2007 Z-scores

1 Department of Public Health, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Manish Kumar
Department of Public Health, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.99476

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Context: One of the the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is the reduction of maternal and child mortality. The 'green revolution' has increased food supply in Asia, and hunger and under nutrition have been decreasing since 1981. However, instead of having to deal with surplus food grain, South Asia and India are still facing high levels of hunger. Although some south Indian cities are witnessing a technology boom, one in every 11 children die within the first 5 years of their lives either due to malnutrition or due to non availability of even simple technology and health care. Aim: To assess the nutritional status of schoolchildrenin Mangalore city. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: A total 1630 students from 11 schools were enrolled for the study. The sample size was calculated assuming the prevalence of undernourished in Mangalore city as 20% and a relative precision of 10%. Statistical Analysis: The BMI (body mass index), Z-scores, and World Health Organization (WHO) Multicentric Growth Reference Study (MGRS) growth chart was used for analysis. Results: Our study population of 1630 students comprised 830 (50.9%) males and 800 (49.1%) females. On analysis, 82 children (5.03%) were found to be undernourished, 37 (2.3%) were overweight, and 16 (1%) were obese. Undernourishment was more prevalent in boys (6.87%) than in girls (3.12%).Obesity was marginally higher among males (1.2%) as compared to females (0.8%) (P=0.003). A total of 15 boys (1.8%) and 22 girls (2.8%) were found to be overweight. Conclusions: The nutritional status of the students in our study is better than has been found in other studies. However, there are cases of under nourishment that need attention. At the same time, there is a need to deal with obesity and overweight in schoolchildren in order to prevent the impending epidemic of noncommunicable disease.

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