Bindu V, Thomas Bina, Biju George
Tribals are one of the most vulnerable groups in India. Under-nutrition and various morbidities go hand in hand, particularly in children. Nutritional status is a sensitive indicator of community health and nutrition. The present study is an attempt to assess the nutritional status of pre-school children of Kozhikode district in Kerala. The objectives of this study were 1. To study the prevalence of malnutrition among the preschool tribal children 2. To study the associated risk factors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The study was a community-based, cross- sectional. Study was carried out in randomly selected 10 panchayaths in Kozhikode. Cluster sampling method was used. Anthropometric measurements were taken. Various indices of nutritional status were expressed in standard deviation units (z scores) from the reference median.
More than half of the children say 57.6% (152/246) had deficits in at least one of the two anthropometric indicators. The prevalence of underweight and stunting was 47.3% and .38.6% respectively. The analysis showed significant associations between under-nutrition and educational status of mother, tribe to which the child belonged, large family size, high birth order and low preschool attendance.
The findings of the present study revealed the widespread prevalence of under-nutrition among pre-school tribal children and highlight a need for an integrated approach towards improving the child health as well as nutritional status in this area