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Social predictors of childhood nutrition status of sub Himalayan region

Author: 
Dr. Akshay Minhas and Dr. Seema Sharma
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: The silent emergency of child under-nutrition is an internationally recognized public health problem. The vicious cycle of social deprivation leading to nutritional deprivation further leading to economic and social deprivation continues in our country. Objective: To assess the predictors of nutritional status of children less than five year of age of district Kangra situated in sub-himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh, India. Methodology: A 30 cluster sampling technique was used to study the 2400 children of age 0-59 months distributed across rural, urban and slums of District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. Waterlow’s classification was used to categorize the nutrition status. The study was carried from 2014 through 2015 using semi structured tool. Results: We observed under nutrition among 37% rural population, 34.4% among urban population, among rural and urban slums it was 29.3% and 47.4% respectively. Under nutrition was higher among females, low socioeconomic status families, low birth weight children, mothers with low education and not exclusively breast fed infants. Conclusion: Though lower than the national averages the prevalence of under nutrition especially stunting is still high and alarms us for interventions at the antenatal and postnatal period to combat this iceberg phenomenon.

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