Stunting, underweight and wasting among Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme children aged 3-5 years of Chapra, Nadia District, West Bengal, India

Kaushik Bose, Sadaruddin Biswas, Samiran Bisai, Sanjib Ganguli, Argina Khatun, Ashish Mukhopadhyay, Mithu Bhadra
Maternal & Child Nutrition 2007, 3 (3): 216-21
This study investigated age and sex variations in height and weight, levels of stunting, underweight and wasting among 533 (254 boys; 279 girls) 3- to 5-year-old rural children of Bengalee ethnicity at 11 Integrated Child Development Services centres of Nadia District, West Bengal, India. Height-for-age, weight-for-age and weight-for-height < -2 z-scores were used to evaluate stunting, underweight and wasting, respectively, following the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Guidelines. Results revealed that boys were significantly heavier than girls at age 3 years. Significant age differences existed in mean height and weight in both sexes. Mean z-scores of height-for-age, weight-for-age and weight-for-height were lower than those of NCHS for both sexes at all ages. The overall (age and sex combined) rates of stunting, underweight and wasting were 23.9%, 31.0% and 9.4%, respectively. The rate of underweight and wasting was higher among girls (underweight = 35.1%, wasting = 12.2%) compared with boys (underweight = 26.5%, wasting = 6.3%). In general, the frequency of stunting increased with increasing age in both sexes. Based on the World Health Organization classification of severity of malnutrition, the overall prevalence of underweight was very high (>or=30%). The prevalence rates of stunting (20-29%) and wasting (5-9%) were medium. In conclusion, the nutritional status of the subjects is unsatisfactory. There is scope for improvement in the form of enhanced supplementary nutrition.

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