A cross sectional study to measure the prevalence of malnutrition and factors associated with malnutrition among under five children of an urban slum of Vadodara city
Author(s): Chetan N. Popat, Arun I. Chaudhari, V.S. Mazumdar, S.V. Patel.
Background: Malnutrition is one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality among children throughout the world, more so in developing nations. Malnutrition among urban poor children is worse than in rural areas. Children living in the urban slums are exposed to risks of infectious diseases, malnutrition and possibly impaired cognitive development.
Aim: To know the prevalence of malnutrition and its factors among under five children of an urban slum.
Material & Methods: Community based cross-sectional study was carried out in an urban slum area of Vadodara city, Gujarat (population = 7000). Total 395 children of 0-5 years of age were enrolled in the study. Equal numbers of children were selected from each of the five Anganwadi area of that urban slum. All mothers or primary care takers of the children were interviewed and weight and height of the children was recorded.
Results: Prevalence of underweight, stunting and wasting was 32.4%, 46.1% and 17.2% respectively. Mother’s literacy, low birth weight and morbidities like diarrhoea, fever and cough in previous fifteen days were significantly associated with malnutrition.
Conclusion: chronic malnutrition was more prevalent in this area. No child was found to be overweight or obese. Mother’s literacy had a much higher impact on better nutritional status of children. Low birth weight was found to have adverse effect on nutritional status of children. Morbidities like diarrhoea, fever and cough had made the children nutritionally vulnerable as malnutrition was higher in those children.