A community based cross-sectional study on the assessment of nutritional status of children

Rajendran NK, Palanivel Rajan T., Varun Kumar T.


Background: Malnutrition is major public health problem in developing countries. Nutrition plays a vital role, as inadequate nutrition during childhood may lead to malnutrition, growth retardation, reduced work capacity and poor mental and social development. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the objectives of finding the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity and associated socio-demographic factors among the rural children in South India.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted from August 2015 to July 2016 in rural areas of Coimbatore district in South India. Complete enumeration of children less than 18 years of age was done in 5 villages. Data were collected from 1562 study subjects and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Binary logistic regression was done.

Results: Among 1562 study subjects, 1308 (83.7%) had their BMI below 18.5 and were found to be under-weight. Only 21 (1.3%) were found to be over-weight and 2 (0.1%) were obese. Under-weight among children was significantly associated with younger age (p-value=0.000), lower educational qualification of mother (p-value = 0.000) and lower socio-economic class (p-value=0.000).

Conclusions: The study has revealed that the prevalence of under-weight among children in rural areas is high in India. The results have also highlighted the fact that there is an urgent need to take effective steps in curbing this problem.


Children, India, Nutritional status, Rural areas

Full Text:



Misra A, Khurana L. Obesity and the metabolic syndrome in developing countries. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93:S9-30.

Kumaravel V, Shriraam V, Anitharani M, Mahadevan S, Balamurugan AN, Sathiyasekaran B. Are the current Indian growth charts really representative? Analysis of anthropometric assessment of school children in a South Indian district. Indian J Endocr Metab. 2014;18:56-62.

Cameron N. Themethods of auxological anthropometry. In: Falkner F, Tanner JM (eds). Human growth - A comprehensive treatise. Vol. III. 2nd ed. New York: Plenum Press; 1986 : 3-46.

Misra A, Khurana L. Obesity and the metabolic syndrome in developing countries. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93:S9-30.

Bhoite R, Iyer U. Magnitude of malnutrition and iron deficiency anemia among rural school children: An appraisal. Asian J Exp Biol Sci. 2011;2:354-61.

National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB), Diet and nutritional status of population and prevalence of hypertension among adults in rural areas.-Report No. 24, National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad, India:; 2006.

Rema N, Vasanthamani G. Prevalence of nutritional and lifestyle disorders among school going children in urban and rural areas of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India. Indian J Sci Technol. 2011;4:131-40.

Mangal A, Kumar V, Panesar S, Talwar R, Raut D, Singh S. Updated BG Prasad socioeconomic classification, 2014: A commentary. Indian J Public Health. 2015;59:42-4.

Graitcer PL, Gentry EM. Measuring children: One reference for all. Lancet. 1981;2:297-9.

Garza C, de Onis M. Rationale for developing a new international growth reference. Food Nutr Bull. 2004;25:S5-14.