NUTRITIONAL ESTIMATES OF SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN BASED ON ANTHROPOMETRIC MEASUREMENTS: STUDY FROM A RURAL AREA OF VARANASI
Background: With the adoption of western lifestyle the problem of overweight and obesity is gradually increasing in children, while problem of malnutrition is persisting continuously in the country. With this background a school based cross sectional study was conducted to assess the nutritional status of school going children in a rural area: Chiraigaon block of Varanasi. Study period: July 2010 to September 2010 Methods: A school-based study with cross-sectional design was adopted. A total of 1448 school children were examined from 3 middle-schools that were selected by simple random sampling method. Height and weight of the children were measured, and BMI and other parameters were assessed. Results: On applying the BMI-for-age criteria, twelve percent of the children (12.4% boys and 11.1% girls) were found underweight while 5.4% were overweight or obese (5.71% of the boys and 4.63% of the girls). But when the previous WHO’s BMI classification was used, 86.5% children had BMI <18.5 (88.4% of total boys and 81.9% of all girls). Conclusion: Nutritional status of school going children based on WHO criteria of BMI for age has been satisfactory. However, this approach needs scientific validation by undertaking a multi-centric study.