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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 364-368

Dietary pattern and nutritional deficiencies among urban adolescents

Department of Community Medicine, Maharani Laxmibai (MLB) Medical College, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mrigen Kr. Deka
Room No. 85, SBH Hostel, Maharani Laxmi Bai (MLB) Medical College, Jhansi - 284 128, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.161319

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Introduction: Adolescents are considered to be a nutritionally vulnerable segment of the population. There is a greater need to look into the nutritional status of adolescents but unfortunately, precise estimates of their dietary intake, dietary practices as well as nutritional deficiencies have been the least explored area. The general objective for conducting this study was to assess the dietary pattern and nutritional deficiencies among adolescents. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among adolescents in schools and colleges in the urban areas of Jhansi district in Uttar Pradesh. The study sample consisted of 400 school children in the age group of 10-19 years. Food consumption of the subjects was assessed using a 3-day food intake recall method. Results: Mean age of the adolescents was 14.16 years. More than half of the children studied had malnutrition (53.5%). Mean intake of calorie, protein, fat, iron, and vitamins A and C were lower than the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). The habitual dietary pattern indicated poor consumption of milk, liver, and leafy vegetables. In comparison to boys (31.5%), more girls (46%) were underweight. On seeing the association, nutritional status of these adolescents within the normal limits were found to be significantly higher in those from nuclear families (P < 0.001), those with better educated parents (P < 0.000), and those from families of higher socioeconomic status (P < 0.000). Conclusion: Overall, among the participants, there were both macro- and micronutrients deficiencies. Therefore, there is a need to encourage people to adopt small family norms, and a need for the sensitization of both adolescents and their parents through health and nutrition education (HNE) to improve the health and nutritional status of the adolescents.

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