Nutritional Status among Pre-School Children of South Kashmir Himalayas - A Cross Sectional Study


Affiliations

  • University of Kashmir, Department of Geography and Regional Development, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, 190006, India

Abstract

Malnutrition has been a major concern in India. In spite of overall improvements in the availability of food, malnutrition especially in children is at an unacceptably high level as revealed by various national surveys. This is true to the state of Jammu and Kashmir as well. The present study was undertaken to assess the nutritional status of pre-school children of South Kashmir Himalayas. Four hundred children aged 0-5 years from 37 villages were studied for anthropometric signs of nutritional deficiencies. This was a community based, study that showed wide variation in level of nutritional status of boys and girls. The study revealed widespread prevalence of malnutrition is based on anthropometric measurements. Various indices of nutritional status were expressed in standard deviation units (z-scores) from the reference median. The study revealed a gloomy picture of malnutrition with wasting (21.04%) wasted, stunting (23.78%) and underweight (17.53%) among children underweight and (23.78%) stunted. Positive inputs to improve growth and to overcome body weight deficits are recommended. Preventive measures are needed to improve food security, strengthen supplementary feeding programmes and provision of adequate subsidized food through PDS is recommended to achieve better growth and development of children. Both ecological imbalances and etiological factor like unhygienic personal habits and adverse cultural practices relating to child rearing (early weaning) were prevalent among them. The study highlighted a need for an integrated approach towards improving the child health as well as nutritional status in this area.

Keywords

Malnutrition, wasted (W/A), stunted (H/A), underweight (W/H), Nutritional Status, Z-Score, Gujjar (A tribal group), GHI

Subject Collection

South Kashmir Himalayas

Subject Discipline

Geography/Medical Geography

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