A Cohort Study on the Growth Dynamics of Rural School Children
Keywords:Malnutrition, School Children, Longitudinal, Rural Area.
AbstractThe prevalence of malnutrition is very high in children of rural India. It is necessary to keep a track of the data to tackle the problem. The aim of the study was to analyse the dynamics of growth and weight transitions in a cohort for rural school children from Vadodara. Using random sampling method 2282 children were selected from the school list of the industrial area of Vadodara, Gujarat. Weight and height were measured at three time point. The paired data of 465 children aged 5-16 years were analysed for the study. The interval between each survey was one year. The prevalence of underweight, stunting and thinness was 73.3, 11.8 and 67.3 % respectively in the first year according to CDC standards. The corresponding figures in the second year were 64.3, 10.7 and 62.7 % respectively. The prevalence was lower as regards to WHO 2007 classification as compared to CDC standards. The mean increase in weight per year for children ranged from 2.8-2.7 kg. The increase of height per year ranged from 6.1 to 5 cm. During the study period of two years, the underweight population contracted by 13 %. In the same period, the normal population has grown by 6 %. Multipronged approach should be adhered to tackle the situation. Growth monitoring and health tracking can go a long way in improving the nutritional status.
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