Nutritional Status of Pre-School Children from Urban Low Income Families


  • Nutrition Foundation of India, New Delhi, 110 016, India
  • Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Deemed University, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Coimbatore, 641 043, India


India is currently the home of the largest number of under-nourished and over-nourished children in the world. Data from longitudinal studies in India indicate that both under nutrition and over-nutrition in childhood is associated with higher risk of over-nutrition and noncommunicable diseases in adult life. A community based mixed longitudinal study of underfive children from urban low income families was taken up to assess their nutritional status. Weight was taken every month in all; length was measured every month in infants and height was measured once in three months in 1-5 year children. BMI was computed in all. Nutritional status was assessed using the WHO anthro software package. Between 2012 and 2015, 3888 pre-school children were enrolled (49.4% boys and 50.6% girls); mean age of these children at enrolment was 22.5±16.17 months. The mean Z scores for height for age was - 1.79; weight for age was - 1.41 and -0.47 for BMI for age. Prevalence of stunting was 43.4%; underweight was 31.9%, wasting was 12% and over-nutrition was between 3-5%. The reduction in wasting rate between 0-3 years was mainly due to the increase in prevalence of stunting. With universal screening for early detection of wasting and over-nutrition and effective management of these, it will be possible to achieve the WHA targets of reducing and maintaining wasting below 5% and preventing increase in over-nutrition in this population. This may reduce the risk of over-nutrition and non-communicable diseases in these children during their adult life.


Under-five children, nutritional status, stunting, underweight, wasting, over-nutrition

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