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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 2940-2946

Burden of malnutrition among school-going children in a slum area of Kolkata: A matter of concern


1 Associate Professor, Department of Maternal and Child Health, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Senior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, IQ City Medical College, Durgapur, West Bengal, India
3 Assistant Professor, Department of Maternal and Child Health, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, India
4 Director Professor, Department of Maternal and Child Health, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Soumit Roy
Department of Community Medicine, IQ City Medical College, Durgapur, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_2472_20

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Background: Malnutrition is still a great barrier to the growth and development of children, especially in India. Children from the underprivileged sections of the society like slum children are more vulnerable to both undernutrition and overnutrition. This study aimed to estimate the magnitude of malnutrition among school-going children in a slum area of Kolkata and to elicit the association of nutritional status with parental education. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted from November 2017 to May 2018 among 508 school-going children of 6 years to 19 years of age in slums of Chetla, Kolkata. Out of three coeducation high schools catering to those children, two schools were randomly selected. 254 participants from each school were selected using systematic random sampling. Students, unwilling to participate and/or whose parents denied providing informed written consent were excluded. After the interview by a predesigned, pretested schedule, their anthropometric examination was conducted. Results: Prevalence of stunting and severe stunting was present in 9.4% and 1.2% of subjects whereas the prevalence of thinness was 23.6% among them. The prevalence of overnutrition was 11%. Boys are more stunted (OR = 2.13, P = 0.013) and thin (OR = 1.73, P = 0.011) than girls. Poor parental education was significantly associated with both undernourishment (stunting and thinness) as well as overweight and obesity. Conclusion: Substantial burden of double malnutrition was observed among school-going slum children. Parental education had an important role to prevent malnutrition of their children. Thus, periodic growth monitoring with the strengthening of the Mid-Day Meal program and awareness generation campaigns regarding malnutrition among parents of slum children are highly needed.


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