Nutritional status and various morbidities among school children – A descriptive Study
Keywords:Nutritional status, School children, Morbidity pattern, India, Bihar.
Background: Primary school age is a dynamic period of physical growth and mental development of child. Previous research studies indicates that malnutrition and poor health among school children is the common cause of low school enrolment, high absenteeism, early dropout and poor classroom performance. Aim: This study was conducted to assess the various morbidities and nutritional status among school children. Methods: This descriptive study was conducted on a total of 720 students and were interviewed and examined. A structured questionnaire was used to collect basic information about students. Body weight and height were measured using standardized procedures. WHO criteria for classification of nutritional status was used. Visual acuity and colour vision was assessed using Snellen’s chart and Ishihara’s pseudo isochromatic chart respectively. Mean scores and proportions were calculated and chi-square test was applied. P value of <0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Results: Among 720 student, 372 (51.66%) were males and 348 (48.33%) were females. The mean age of children was 10.2 ± 3.1 years. Among all age groups and both sexes, the observed BMI was lower as compared to the reference values. The prevalence of underweight among children of 5-9 years was (35.4%) and (1.9%) were severely underweight. The prevalence of stunting was 10.0%, including 0.1% of severely stunted children. A total of 30.4% children were thin (low BMI for age). Pallor (39.1%), myopia (34.8%) and dental caries (14.8%) were the common morbidities observed among children. The pallor was observed more commonly among girls and this difference was statistically significant (p value <0.05). Conclusion: Under-nutrition is a prevalent condition among school children. Apart from various nutritional programmes, health education to parents, community and school teachers are quite important to address this problem.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Desh Dipak Sinha, Rakesh Kumar, Manisha Kumari
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