To find out the magnitude of malnutrition among the adolescents of an urban slum of Kolkata study population. To compare the middle upper arm circumference (MUAC) with that of body mass index (BMI) for determination of nutritional status of the study population.
Materials and Methods:
This was a school-based descriptive epidemiological study done among adolescent male students aged 10–19 years in the service area of Urban Health Centre, Chetla. The school is an all boy’s government aided school and all the students reside in the Chetla slum, the largest slum of Kolkata. Anthropometric measurements of the students of one section selected from each class i.e. class V to XII were recorded.
Results showed 47.93% of study population as per BMI and 60.30% as per MUAC were malnourished. Evaluation of screening test showed MUAC as a marker was 94.6% sensitive and 71.2% specific. A correlation between measurements of MUAC and BMI was demonstrated (r=0.822; SE=0.035; 95% CI; P=0.000000; r2=0.74).
Body mass index; middle upper arm circumference; sensitivity; specificity
Malnutrition continues to be a critical public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, in East Africa, 48 % of children under-five are stunted while 36 % are underweight. Poor health and poor nutrition are now more a characteristic of children living in the urban areas than of children in the rural areas. This is because the protective mechanism offered by the urban advantage in the past; that is, the health benefits that historically accrued to residents of cities as compared to residents in rural settings is being eroded due to increasing proportion of urban residents living in slum settings. This study sought to determine effect of mother’s education on child nutritional status of children living in slum settings.
Data are from a maternal and child health project nested within the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NUHDSS). The study involves 5156 children aged 0–42 months. Data on nutritional status used were collected between October 2009 and January 2010. We used binomial and multiple logistic regression to estimate the effect of education in the univariable and multivariable models respectively.
Results show that close to 40 % of children in the study are stunted. Maternal education is a strong predictor of child stunting with some minimal attenuation of the association by other factors at maternal, household and community level. Other factors including at child level: child birth weight and gender; maternal level: marital status, parity, pregnancy intentions, and health seeking behaviour; and household level: social economic status are also independently significantly associated with stunting.
Overall, mothers’ education persists as a strong predictor of child’s nutritional status in urban slum settings, even after controlling for other factors. Given that stunting is a strong predictor of human capital, emphasis on girl-child education may contribute to breaking the poverty cycle in urban poor settings.
Education; Child stunting; Health; Urban slum; Kenya
Pregnant women inhabiting urban slums are a “high risk” group with limited access to health facilities. Hazardous maternal health practices are rampant in slum areas. Barriers to utilization of health services are well documented. Slums in the same city may differ from one another in their health indicators and service utilization rates. The study examines whether hazardous maternal care practices exist in and whether there are differences in the utilization rates of health services in two different slums.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional study was carried out in two urban slums of Aligarh city (Uttar Pradesh, India). House-to-house survey was conducted and 200 mothers having live births in the study period were interviewed. The outcome measures were utilization of antenatal care, natal care, postnatal care, and early infant feeding practices. Rates of hazardous health practices and reasons for these practices were elicited.
Hazardous maternal health practices were common. At least one antenatal visit was accepted by a little more than half the mothers, but delivery was predominantly home based carried out under unsafe conditions. Important barriers to utilization included family tradition, financial constraints, and rude behavior of health personnel in hospitals. Significant differences existed between the two slums.
The fact that barriers to utilization at a local level may differ significantly between slums must be recognized, identified, and addressed in the district level planning for health. Empowerment of slum communities as one of the stakeholders can lend them a stronger voice and help improve access to services.
Barriers to utilization; hazardous delivery practices; maternal health; urban slums
Perceived body image is an important potential predictor of nutritional status. Body image misconception during adolescence is unexplored field in Indian girls.
To study the consciousness of adolescent girls about their body image.
Materials and Methods:
This multistage observational study was conducted on 586 adolescent girls of age 10–19 years in Lucknow district (151 from rural, 150 from slum, and 286 from urban area) of Uttar Pradesh, India. Information on desired and actual body size was collected with the help of predesigned questionnaire.
20.5% of studied girls show aspiration to become thin, who already perceived their body image as too thin. 73.4% adolescent girls were satisfied with their body image, while 26.6% were dissatisfied. The dissatisfaction was higher among girls of urban (30.2%) and slum (40.0%) areas in comparison to rural (22.5%) area. Percentage of satisfied girls was less in the 13–15 years (69.9%) age groups in comparison to 10–12 years (76.5%) and 16–19 years (76.4%). Among girls satisfied with their body image, 32.8% girls were found underweight, and 38.4% were stunted. Underweight girls (42.1%) and stunted girls (64.9%) were higher in number within satisfied girls of slum area. Among all of these adolescent girls, 32.8% of girls had overestimated their weight, while only 4.9% of girls had underestimated their weight.
This study concludes that desire to become thin is higher in adolescent girls, even in those who already perceived their body image as too thin.
Adolescence; body image satisfaction; perceived body image; stunting; underweight
India has seen rapid unorganized urbanization in the past few decades. However, the burden of childhood diseases and malnutrition in such populations is difficult to quantify. The morbidity experience of children living in semi-urban slums of a southern Indian city is described.
A total of 176 children were recruited pre-weaning from four geographically adjacent, semi-urban slums located in the western outskirts of Vellore, Tamil Nadu for a study on water safety and enteric infections and received either bottled or municipal drinking water based on their area of residence. Children were visited weekly at home and had anthropometry measured monthly until their second birthday.
A total of 3932 episodes of illness were recorded during the follow-up period, resulting in an incidence of 12.5 illnesses/child-year, with more illness during infancy than in the second year of life. Respiratory, mostly upper respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal illnesses were most common. Approximately one-third of children were stunted at two years of age, and two-thirds had at least one episode of growth failure during the two years of follow up. No differences in morbidity were seen between children who received bottled and municipal water.
Our study found a high burden of childhood diseases and malnutrition among urban slum dwellers in southern India. Frequent illnesses may adversely impact children’s health and development, besides placing an additional burden on families who need to seek healthcare and find resources to manage illness.
Children; Morbidity; Incidence; Slum; Longitudinal study; India
Children born malnourished had more infections with Entamoeba histolytica, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, and Cryptosporidium. Conversely, malnutrition was preceded by prolonged diarrhea and altered intestinal barrier function. These studies demonstrate the potential for nutritional interventions based on treatment or prevention of enteric infections.
Background. Malnourished children are at increased risk for death due to diarrhea. Our goal was to determine the contribution of specific enteric infections to malnutrition-associated diarrhea and to determine the role of enteric infections in the development of malnutrition.
Methods. Children from an urban slum in Bangladesh were followed for the first year of life by every-other-day home visits. Enteropathogens were identified in diarrheal and monthly surveillance stools; intestinal barrier function was measured by serum endocab antibodies; and nutritional status was measured by anthropometry.
Results. Diarrhea occurred 4.69 ± 0.19 times per child per year, with the most common infections caused by enteric protozoa (amebiasis, cryptosporidiosis, and giardiasis), rotavirus, astrovirus, and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Malnutrition was present in 16.3% of children at birth and 42.4% at 12 months of age. Children malnourished at birth had increased Entamoeba histolytica, Cryptosporidium, and ETEC infections and more severe diarrhea. Children who became malnourished by 12 months of age were more likely to have prolonged diarrhea, intestinal barrier dysfunction, a mother without education, and low family expenditure.
Conclusions. Prospective observation of infants in an urban slum demonstrated that diarrheal diseases were associated with the development of malnutrition that was in turn linked to intestinal barrier disruption and that diarrhea was more severe in already malnourished children. The enteric protozoa were unexpectedly important causes of diarrhea in this setting. This study demonstrates the complex interrelationship of malnutrition and diarrhea in infants in low-income settings and points to the potential for infectious disease interventions in the prevention and treatment of malnutrition.
Malnutrition is still highly prevalent in developing countries. Schoolchildren may also be at high nutritional risk, not only under-five children. However, their nutritional status is poorly documented, particularly in urban areas. The paucity of information hinders the development of relevant nutrition programs for schoolchildren. The aim of this study carried out in Ouagadougou was to assess the nutritional status of schoolchildren attending public and private schools.
The study was carried out to provide baseline data for the implementation and evaluation of the Nutrition Friendly School Initiative of WHO. Six intervention schools and six matched control schools were selected and a sample of 649 schoolchildren (48% boys) aged 7-14 years old from 8 public and 4 private schools were studied. Anthropometric and haemoglobin measurements, along with thyroid palpation, were performed. Serum retinol was measured in a random sub-sample of children (N = 173). WHO criteria were used to assess nutritional status. Chi square and independent t-test were used for proportions and mean comparisons between groups.
Mean age of the children (48% boys) was 11.5 ± 1.2 years. Micronutrient malnutrition was highly prevalent, with 38.7% low serum retinol and 40.4% anaemia. The prevalence of stunting was 8.8% and that of thinness, 13.7%. The prevalence of anaemia (p = 0.001) and vitamin A deficiency (p < 0.001) was significantly higher in public than private schools. Goitre was not detected. Overweight/obesity was low (2.3%) and affected significantly more children in private schools (p = 0.009) and younger children (7-9 y) (p < 0.05). Thinness and stunting were significantly higher in peri-urban compared to urban schools (p < 0.05 and p = 0.004 respectively). Almost 15% of the children presented at least two nutritional deficiencies.
This study shows that malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are also widely prevalent in schoolchildren in cities, and it underlines the need for nutrition interventions to target them.
Background and Objective
The feeding practices during infancy are of critical importance for the growth and the development of children. Recent studies have reported that wrong feeding practices are widely prevalent in the urban slums. With this background, this study was conducted to assess the infant feeding practices in an urban slum and to determine the the factors which influenced it.
Materials and Methods
A community based, cross-sectional study was conducted in an urban slum of Nagpur, Maharashtra, India during June 2011 to December 2011. The study variables which were used were the mother’s religion, occupation, education, the place of delivery, the type of delivery, the sex and the age of the baby, the antenatal clinic registration , breast feeding, weaning, knowledge of the mothers, etc. For the statistical analysis, the Fisher’s exact test was used.
Out of the 384 enrolled mothers,125(32.56%) mothers had started breast feeding within 1 hour after their deliveries. Colostrum was given by 82(21.38%) mothers. Exclusive breast feeding for 6 months was given by 142(36.84%) mothers. The practice of exclusive breast feeding was more in the literate mothers and in mothers who were informed by the health personnel. This was statistically significant.
Inappropriate feeding practices are common in an urban slum of Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.
Breast feeding; Colostrum; Infant feeding practices; Urban slum
Poor growth of children in developing countries is a major public health problem associated with mortality, morbidity and developmental delay. We describe growth up to three years of age and investigate factors related to stunting (low height-for-age) at three years of age in a birth cohort from an urban slum.
452 children born between March 2002 and August 2003 were followed until their third birthday in three neighbouring slums in Vellore, South India. Field workers visited homes to collect details of morbidity twice a week. Height and weight were measured monthly from one month of age in a study-run clinic. For analysis, standardised z-scores were generated using the 2006 WHO child growth standards. Risk factors for stunting at three years of age were analysed in logistic regression models. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to examine the effect of missing values.
At age three years, of 186 boys and 187 girls still under follow-up, 109 (66%, 95% Confidence interval 58-73%) boys and 93 (56%, 95% CI 49-64%) girls were stunted, 14 (8%, 95% CI 4-13%) boys and 12 (7%, 95% CI 3-11%) girls were wasted (low weight-for-height) and 72 (43%, 95% CI 36-51) boys and 66 (39%, 95% CI 31-47%) girls were underweight (low weight-for-age). In total 224/331 (68%) children at three years had at least one growth deficiency (were stunted and/or underweight and/or wasted); even as early as one month of age 186/377 (49%) children had at least one growth deficiency. Factors associated with stunting at three years were birth weight less than 2.5 kg (OR 3.63, 95% CI 1.36-9.70) 'beedi-making' (manual production of cigarettes for a daily wage) in the household (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.05-2.86), maternal height less than 150 cm (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.12-3.62), being stunted, wasted or underweight at six months of age (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.05-2.93) and having at least one older sibling (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.14-3.51).
A high proportion of urban slum dwelling children had poor growth throughout the first three years of life. Interventions are needed urgently during pregnancy, early breastfeeding and weaning in this population.
Diarrhoeal infections are the fifth leading cause of death worldwide and continue to take a high toll on child health. Mushrooming of slums due to continuous urbanization has made diarrhoea one of the biggest public-health challenges in metropolitan cities in India. The objective of the study was to carry out a community-based health and nutrition-education intervention, focusing on several factors influencing child health with special emphasis on diarrhoea, in a slum of Delhi, India. Mothers (n=370) of children, aged >12–71 months, identified by a door-to-door survey from a large urban slum, were enrolled in the study in two groups, i.e. control and intervention. To ensure minimal group interaction, enrollment for the control and intervention groups was done purposively from two extreme ends of the slum cluster. Baseline assessment of knowledge, attitudes, and practices on diarrhoea-related issues, such as oral rehydration therapy (ORT), oral rehydration salt (ORS), and continuation of breastfeeding during diarrhoea, was carried out using a pretested questionnaire. Thereafter, mothers (n=195) from the intervention area were provided health and nutrition education through fortnightly contacts achieved by two approaches developed for the study—‘personal discussion sessions’ and ‘lane approach’. The mothers (n=175) from the control area were not contacted. After the intervention, there was a significant (p=0.000) improvement in acquaintance to the term ‘ORS’ (65–98%), along with its method of reconstitution from packets (13–69%); preparation of home-made sugar-salt solution (10–74%); role of both in the prevention of dehydration (30–74%) and importance of their daily preparation (74–96%); and continuation of breastfeeding during diarrhoea (47–90%) in the intervention area. Sensitivity about age-specific feeding of ORS also improved significantly (p=0.000) from 13% to 88%. The reported usage of ORS packets and sugar-salt solution improved significantly from 12% to 65% (p=0.000) and 12% to 75% (p=0.005) respectively. The results showed that health and nutrition-education intervention improved the knowledge and attitudes of mothers. The results indicate a need for intensive programmes, especially directed towards urban slums to further improve the usage of oral rehydration therapy.
Community health; Diarrhoea; Interventions; Nutrition education; Oral rehydration solutions; Slums; India
No information exists on the nutritional status of primary school children residing in Makurdi, Nigeria. It is envisaged that the data could serve as baseline data for future studies, as well as inform public health policy. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of malnutrition among urban school children in Makurdi, Nigeria.
Height and weight of 2015 (979 boys and 1036 girls), aged 9-12 years, attending public primary school in Makurdi were measured and the body mass index (BMI) calculated. Anthropometric indices of weight-for-age (WA) and height-for-age (HA) were used to estimate the children's nutritional status. The BMI thinness classification was also calculated.
Underweight (WAZ < -2) and stunting (HAZ < -2) occurred in 43.4% and 52.7%, respectively. WAZ and HAZ mean scores of the children were -0.91(SD = 0.43) and -0.83 (SD = 0.54), respectively. Boys were more underweight (48.8%) than girls (38.5%), and the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.024; p < 0.05). Conversely, girls tend to be more stunted (56.8%) compared to boys (48.4%) (p = 0.004; p < 0.05). Normal WAZ and HAZ occurred in 54.6% and 44.2% of the children, respectively. Using the 2007 World Health Organisation BMI thinness classification, majority of the children exhibited Grade 1 thinness (77.3%), which was predominant at all ages (9-12 years) in both boys and girls. Gender wise, 79.8% boys and 75.0% girls fall within the Grade I thinness category. Based on the WHO classification, severe malnutrition occurred in 31.3% of the children.
There is severe malnutrition among the school children living in Makurdi. Most of the children are underweight, stunted and thinned. As such, providing community education on environmental sanitation and personal hygienic practices, proper child rearing, breast-feeding and weaning practices would possibly reverse the trends.
INTRODUCTION: In India, approximately 20 percent of children under the age of four suffer from severe malnutrition, while half of all the children suffer from undernutrition. The contributions of knowledge and attitudes of nutrition-conscious behaviors of the mothers to childhood malnutrition has been unclear. The purpose of this study was to explore maternal knowledge of the causes of malnutrition, health-care-seeking attitudes and socioeconomic risk factors in relation to children's nutritional status in rural south India. METHODS: A case-controlled study was conducted in a rural area in Tamil Nadu, India. Thirty-four cases and 34 controls were selected from the population of approximately 97,000 by using the local hospital's list of young children. A case was defined as a mother of a severely malnourished child under four years of age. Severe malnutrition was defined as having less than 60 percent of expected median weight-for-age. A control had a well-nourished child and was matched by the location and the age of the child. Interviews obtained: (1) socioeconomic information on the family, (2) knowledge of the cause of malnutrition and (3) health-care-seeking attitudes for common childhood illnesses, including malnutrition. RESULTS: Poor nutritional status was associated with socioeconomic variables such as sex of the child and father's occupation. Female gender (OR = 3.44, p = .02) and father's occupation as a laborer (OR = 2.98, p = .05) were significant risk factors for severe malnutrition. The two groups showed a significant difference in nutrition-related knowledge of mild mixed malnutrition (OR = 2.62, p = .05). No significant difference was apparent in health-care-seeking attitudes. Based on their traditional beliefs, the mothers did not believe that medical care was an appropriate intervention for childhood illnesses such as malnutrition or measles. DISCUSSION: The results suggested that the gender of the child and socioeconomic factors were stronger risk factors for malnutrition than health-care availability and health-care-seeking attitudes. The father's occupation was a more accurate indicator for malnutrition than household income. These results suggest a need for intensive nutritional programs targeted toward poor female children and their mothers.
STUDY OBJECTIVE—Comparison of children's nutritional status in refugee populations with that of local host populations, one year after outbreak refugee crisis in the North Kivu region of Democratic Republic of Congo.
DESIGN—Cross sectional surveys.
SETTING—Temporary and other settlements, in the town of Goma and surrounding rural areas.
SUBJECTS—Anthropometric indicators of nutritional status and presence or absence of oedema were measured among 5121 children aged 6 to 59 months recruited by cluster sampling with probability proportional to size, between June and August 1995.
RESULTS—Children in all locations demonstrated a typical pattern of growth deficit relative to international reference. Prevalence of acute malnutrition (wt/ht < −2 Z score) was higher among children in the rural non-refugee populations (3.8 and 5.8%) than among those in the urban non-refugee populations (1.4%) or in the refugee population living in temporary settlements (1.7%). Presence of oedema was scarcely noticed in camps (0.4%) while it was a common observation at least in the most remote rural areas (10.1%). As compared with baseline data collected in 1989, there is evidence that nutritional status was worsening in rural non-refugee populations.
CONCLUSIONS—Children living in the main town or in the refugee camps benefited the most from nutritional relief while those in the rural non-refugee areas were ignored. This is a worrying case of inequity in nutritional relief.
Keywords: malnutrition; disasters; equity
Chronic childhood malnutrition remains common in India. As part of an initiative to improve maternal and child health in urban slums, we collected anthropometric data from a sample of children followed up from birth. We described the proportions of underweight, stunting, and wasting in young children, and examined their relationships with age.
We used two linked datasets: one based on institutional birth weight records for 17 318 infants, collected prospectively, and one based on follow-up of a subsample of 1941 children under five, collected in early 2010.
Mean birth weight was 2736 g (SD 530 g), with a low birth weight (<2500 g) proportion of 22%. 21% of infants had low weight for age standard deviation (z) scores at birth (<−2 SD). At follow-up, 35% of young children had low weight for age, 17% low weight for height, and 47% low height for age. Downward change in weight for age was greater in children who had been born with higher z scores.
Our data support the idea that much of growth faltering was explained by faltering in height for age, rather than by wasting. Stunting appeared to be established early and the subsequent decline in height for age was limited. Our findings suggest a focus on a younger age-group than the children over the age of three who are prioritized by existing support systems.
The trial during which the birth weight data were collected was funded by the ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth (Centre for Child Health and Nutrition), and The Wellcome Trust (081052/Z/06/Z). Subsequent collection, analysis and development of the manuscript was funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award: Population Science of Maternal and Child Survival (085417ma/Z/08/Z). D Osrin is funded by The Wellcome Trust (091561/Z/10/Z).
Malnutrition is a serious public health problem particularly in developing countries where it is responsible for 54% of under 5s mortality. Anthropometric measurements are key tools for the assessment of nutritional status and diagnosis of malnutrition. Height and weight measurements are not routinely done in most clinics and hospitals in Ghana. Children therefore miss the opportunity for accurate nutritional assessment and detection of malnutrition.
To determine the prevalence of wasting among children <5 years and to document extent of under-diagnosis.
From June to August 2004, children aged >3 months to <5 years attending the outpatient clinic of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital were systematically assessed for wasting using weight-for-height standard deviation score (Z-score).
Of 1182 children (mean age 24.9 months), 251 (21.2%) were wasted, 48 (4.1%) of them severely. Only 15 (5.9%) of the 251 children with wasting were so identified by the attending physician.
Malnutrition is widespread yet under-diagnosed. Anthropometric measurements should be promoted in all child health clinics.
wasting; malnutrition; weight-for-height; Z-score; missed opportunities
The urban population in India is one of the largest in the world. Its unprecedented growth has resulted in a large section of the population living in abject poverty in overcrowded slums. There have been limited efforts to capture the health of people in urban slums. In the present study, we have used data collected during the National Family Health Survey-3 to provide a national representation of women’s reproductive health in the slum population in India. We examined a sample of 4,827 women in the age group of 15–49 years to assess the association of the variable slum with selected reproductive health services. We have also tried to identify the sociodemographic factors that influence the utilization of these services among women in the slum communities. All analyses were stratified by slum/non-slum residence, and multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze the strength of association between key reproductive health services and relevant sociodemographic factors. We found that less than half of the women from the slum areas were currently using any contraceptive methods, and discontinuation rate was higher among these women. Sterilization was the most common method of contraception (25%). Use of contraceptives depended on the age, level of education, parity, and the knowledge of contraceptive methods (p < 0.05). There were significant differences in the two populations based on the timing and frequency of antenatal visits. The probability of ANC visits depended significantly on the level of education and economic status (p < 0.05). We found that among slum women, the proportion of deliveries conducted by skilled attendants was low, and the percentage of home deliveries was high. The use of skilled delivery care was found to be significantly associated with age, level of education, economic status, parity, and prior antenatal visits (p < 0.05). We found that women from slum areas depended on the government facilities for reproductive health services. Our findings suggest that significant differences in reproductive health outcomes exist among women from slum and non-slum communities in India. Efforts to progress towards the health MDGs and other national or international health targets may not be achieved without a focus on the urban slum population.
Slum; India; National Family Health Survey-3; Contraception; Antenatal care; Skilled delivery care
The early childhood development is most crucial and the mother’s care and attention is essential. The inevitable changes like women entering the work field have an effect on the child care and development.
To study the selected anthropometric indices of the children of employed and unemployed women.
Settings and Design
This study was done in the urban slums of Guntur city by using a cross sectional, descriptive design.
Methods and Material
This study was conducted during January – April 2011 with a sample of 312 children of non working women and 311 children of working women, who were selected through the systemic random quota sampling method in 6 randomly selected slums. The data was collected through questionnaires who were named as the Mother’s schedule and the Child schedule, which consisted of close-ended questions which were coded for an easy data entry. The Mother’s schedule looked at the information regarding the mother, like the caretaker during the mother’s absence, the time which was spent with her child each day, etc. The Child schedule looked for information like whether the child was exclusively breast fed, its age in months when the weaning started, whether the government sponsored crèche services (Anganwadi center) were utilized, etc. It also included the anthropometrical measurements of the child like its current weight, current height and mid arm circumference, which were obtained by using standardized tools.
For each schedule, a separate table was created in a relational basis in MS Access, with suitable key fields to connect the information for the analysis.
The children of the unemployed mothers weighed significantly higher than the children of the employed mothers. The children of the unemployed mothers also stood significantly taller than the children of the employed mothers.
In the absence of the mothers who are at work, a childcare service is essential and this should be facilitated through legislation, NGO efforts, etc. Breast feeding and the bonding time with children are to be encouraged for the employed mothers.
Employed mothers; Employment status; Nutritional status; Pre-school children; Unemployed mothers
Despite recent achievement in economic progress in India, the fruit of development has failed to secure a better nutritional status among all children of the country. Growing evidence suggest there exists a socio-economic gradient of childhood malnutrition in India. The present paper is an attempt to measure the extent of socio-economic inequality in chronic childhood malnutrition across major states of India and to realize the role of household socio-economic status (SES) as the contextual determinant of nutritional status of children.
Using National Family Health Survey-3 data, an attempt is made to estimate socio-economic inequality in childhood stunting at the state level through Concentration Index (CI). Multi-level models; random-coefficient and random-slope are employed to study the impact of SES on long-term nutritional status among children, keeping in view the hierarchical nature of data.
Across the states, a disproportionate burden of stunting is observed among the children from poor SES, more so in urban areas. The state having lower prevalence of chronic childhood malnutrition shows much higher burden among the poor. Though a negative correlation (r = -0.603, p < .001) is established between Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) and CI values for stunting; the development indicator is not always linearly correlated with intra-state inequality in malnutrition prevalence. Results from multi-level models however show children from highest SES quintile posses 50 percent better nutritional status than those from the poorest quintile.
In spite of the declining trend of chronic childhood malnutrition in India, the concerns remain for its disproportionate burden on the poor. The socio-economic gradient of long-term nutritional status among children needs special focus, more so in the states where chronic malnutrition among children apparently demonstrates a lower prevalence. The paper calls for state specific policies which are designed and implemented on a priority basis, keeping in view the nature of inequality in childhood malnutrition in the country and its differential characteristics across the states.
The high prevalence of child under-nutrition remains a profound challenge in the developing world. Maternal autonomy was examined as a determinant of breast feeding and infant growth in children 3 to 5 months of age. Cross-sectional baseline data on 600 mother-infant pairs were collected in 60 villages in rural Andhra Pradesh, India. The mothers were enrolled in a longitudinal randomized behavioral intervention trial. In addition to anthropometric and demographic measures, an autonomy questionnaire was administered to measure different dimensions of autonomy (e.g. decision-making, freedom of movement, financial autonomy, and acceptance of domestic violence). We conducted confirmatory factor analysis on maternal autonomy items and regression analyses on infant breast feeding and growth after adjusting for socioeconomic and demographic variables, and accounting for infant birth weight, infant morbidity, and maternal nutritional status. Results indicated that mothers with higher financial autonomy were more likely to breastfeed 3–5 month old infants. Mothers with higher participation in decision-making in households had infants that were less underweight and less wasted. These results suggest that improving maternal financial and decision-making autonomy could have a positive impact on infant feeding and growth outcomes.
infant feeding; infant growth; maternal autonomy; confirmatory factor analysis; India; nutrition; mothers
To study the effect of weaning biscuits supplementation of the nutritional parameters and cognitive performance of the selected children.
Three primary schools situated in Salem District, Tamilnadu, India were selected. A total number of 150 school children, 61 from primary school I, 46 from primary school II and 43 from primary school III comprised the study sample. About 80 primary school children with Grade II malnutrition were selected for the experimental study. Home diet without any supplementation was followed by Group I (n = 20, control group), potato flour biscuit was supplemented to Group II (n = 20), wheat biscuits was given to Group III (n = 20) and ragi biscuits were given to Group IV (n = 20) for the period of 3 months. Parameters like anthropometric measurements, hemoglobin content clinical picture and cognitive performance were analyzed before and after supplementation.
Results about Group I (control group) showed no significant difference in height, weight and clinical picture and cognitive performance after three months on their home diet. In Group II, III and IV significant increase in all the above parameters was noticed. More increase was found in Group II children supplemented with potato flour biscuits for a period of 3 months. About cognitive performance better results was obtained in Group II followed by Group III (supplemented with wheat biscuits) and Group IV (supplemented with ragi biscuits). Least was obtained by control group children who are in their home diet.
All these observations evident that if such weaning biscuits made with potato flour, wheat and Ragi can form a daily ingredient in their diets, it will bring out better all round development of the children.
The study examines the relationship between orphanhood status and nutritional status and food security among children living in the rapidly growing and uniquely vulnerable slum settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. The study was conducted between January and June 2007 among children aged 6–14 years, living in informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. Anthropometric measurements were taken using standard procedures and z scores generated using the NCHS/WHO reference. Data on food security were collected through separate interviews with children and their caregivers, and used to generate a composite food security score. Multiple regression analysis was done to determine factors related to vulnerability with regards to food security and nutritional outcomes. The results show that orphans were more vulnerable to food insecurity than non-orphans and that paternal orphans were the most vulnerable orphan group. However, these effects were not significant for nutritional status, which measures long-term food deficiencies. The results also show that the most vulnerable children are boys, those living in households with lowest socioeconomic status, with many dependants, and female-headed and headed by adults with low human capital (low education). This study provides useful insights to inform policies and practice to identify target groups and intervention programs to improve the welfare of orphans and vulnerable children living in urban poor communities.
Orphans; Vulnerable children; Urban poor; Food security; Nutritional outcomes; Kenya; Sub-Saharan Africa
Improving the health of urban residents, particularly those living in slum areas, requires an integrated approach. Appropriate interventions must be based on a well-grounded understanding of health determinants. Social factors are as important as physical factors in determining health status and suggest alternative interventions. Employment, stress, social exclusion, social support, substance use, nutrition, transport, and conditions during childhood are among the most important social determinants of health status identified by the International Center for Health and Society. This paper uses social determinants of health approach to understand morbidity outcomes for people residing in the slums of Surat City, India. To quantify suboptimal health behavior and identify the determinants of health status for this population survey data on household characteristics, health-seeking behavior, socioeconomic status, food and personal habits, social life, and physical activity has been used. After controlling for socioeconomic and demographic factors, logistic regression analysis reveals that social exclusion, stress, and lack of social support are significantly associated with morbidity. Thus, understanding of social determinants of health by policy makers is important as the health sector has a crucial role in addressing disparities in social determinants.
Social determinants; Suboptimal behavior; Morbidity; Urban slums of India
More than a third of the world's children are infected with intestinal nematodes. Current control approaches emphasise treatment of school age children, and there is a lack of information on the effects of deworming preschool children.
We studied the effects on the heights and weights of 3,935 children, initially 1 to 5 years of age, of five rounds of anthelmintic treatment (400 mg albendazole) administered every 6 months over 2 years. The children lived in 50 areas, each defined by precise government boundaries as urban slums, in Lucknow, North India. All children were offered vitamin A every 6 months, and children in 25 randomly assigned slum areas also received 6-monthly albendazole. Treatments were delivered by the State Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), and height and weight were monitored at baseline and every 6 months for 24 months (trial registration number NCT00396500). p Value calculations are based only on the 50 area-specific mean values, as randomization was by area.
The ICDS infrastructure proved able to deliver the interventions. 95% (3,712/3,912) of those alive at the end of the study had received all five interventions and had been measured during all four follow-up surveys, and 99% (3,855/3,912) were measured at the last of these surveys. At this final follow up, the albendazole-treated arm exhibited a similar height gain but a 35 (SE 5) % greater weight gain, equivalent to an extra 1 (SE 0.15) kg over 2 years (99% CI 0.6–1.4 kg, p = 10−11).
In such urban slums in the 1990s, five 6-monthly rounds of single dose anthelmintic treatment of malnourished, poor children initially aged 1–5 years results in substantial weight gain. The ICDS system could provide a sustainable, inexpensive approach to the delivery of anthelmintics or micronutrient supplements to such populations. As, however, we do not know the control parasite burden, these results are difficult to generalize.
About one-third of children in poor communities globally are infected with intestinal worms. Treatment is effective and safe, and involves taking a pill once or twice a year. Most deworming programs are aimed at children of school age because most infections occur in this age group and schoolchildren are easy to reach and treat in schools. But preschool children are also infected and, in North India, the State Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) provides a system of preschools and teachers that could potentially deliver treatment to younger children. To see whether deworming would be feasible and beneficial for preschool children, we studied its effects on the growth of 4,000 children initially aged 1 to 5 years in the urban slums of Lucknow, North India. Over a 2-year period, the ICDS successfully provided regular 6-monthly treatment to 95% of the children targeted, and the treated children gained about an extra kilogram in weight when compared to untreated children in neighbouring slums. These results show that the preschool program in India could provide regular deworming simply and cheaply, and suggest that poor and malnourished preschool children with a heavy worm load could show a substantial gain in weight as a result.
There is little information on country trends in the complete distributions of children's anthropometric status, which are needed to assess all levels of mild to severe undernutrition. We aimed to estimate trends in the distributions of children's anthropometric status and assess progress towards the Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG 1) target of halving the prevalence of weight-for-age Z score (WAZ) below −2 between 1990 and 2015 or reaching a prevalence of 2·3% or lower.
We collated population-representative data on height-for-age Z score (HAZ) and WAZ calculated with the 2006 WHO child growth standards. Our data sources were health and nutrition surveys, summary statistics from the WHO Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, and summary statistics from reports of other national and international agencies. We used a Bayesian hierarchical mixture model to estimate Z-score distributions. We quantified the uncertainty of our estimates, assessed their validity, compared their performance to alternative models, and assessed sensitivity to key modelling choices.
In developing countries, mean HAZ improved from −1·86 (95% uncertainty interval −2·01 to −1·72) in 1985 to −1·16 (–1·29 to −1·04) in 2011; mean WAZ improved from −1·31 (–1·41 to −1·20) to −0·84 (–0·93 to −0·74). Over this period, prevalences of moderate-and-severe stunting declined from 47·2% (44·0 to 50·3) to 29·9% (27·1 to 32·9) and underweight from 30·1% (26·7 to 33·3) to 19·4% (16·5 to 22·2). The largest absolute improvements were in Asia and the largest relative reductions in prevalence in southern and tropical Latin America. Anthropometric status worsened in sub-Saharan Africa until the late 1990s and improved thereafter. In 2011, 314 (296 to 331) million children younger than 5 years were mildly, moderately, or severely stunted and 258 (240 to 274) million were mildly, moderately, or severely underweight. Developing countries as a whole have less than a 5% chance of meeting the MDG 1 target; but 61 of these 141 countries have a 50–100% chance.
Macroeconomic shocks, structural adjustment, and trade policy reforms in the 1980s and 1990s might have been responsible for worsening child nutritional status in sub-Saharan Africa. Further progress in the improvement of children's growth and nutrition needs equitable economic growth and investment in pro-poor food and primary care programmes, especially relevant in the context of the global economic crisis.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Medical Research Council.
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals that aim to reduce malnutrition and child mortality depends in part on the ability of governments/policymakers to address nutritional status of children in general and those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in particular. This study describes HIV prevalence in children, patterns of malnutrition by HIV status and determinants of nutritional status.
The study involved 671 children aged 12-59 months living in the Agincourt sub-district, rural South Africa in 2007. Anthropometric measurements were taken and HIV testing with disclosure was done using two rapid tests. Z-scores were generated using WHO 2006 standards as indicators of nutritional status. Linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to establish the determinants of child nutritonal status.
Prevalence of malnutrition, particularly stunting (18%), was high in the overall sample of children. HIV prevalence in this age group was 4.4% (95% CI: 2.79 to 5.97). HIV positive children had significantly poorer nutritional outcomes than their HIV negative counterparts. Besides HIV status, other significant determinants of nutritional outcomes included age of the child, birth weight, maternal age, age of household head, and area of residence.
This study documents poor nutritional status among children aged 12-59 months in rural South Africa. HIV is an independent modifiable risk factor for poor nutritional outcomes and makes a significant contribution to nutritional outcomes at the individual level. Early paediatric HIV testing of exposed or at risk children, followed by appropriate health care for infected children, may improve their nutritional status and survival.