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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-83

Malnutrition: Prevalence and risk factors – A cross-sectional study among school going children in Varanasi, the Ancient City of India

1 Department of Swasthavritta and Yoga, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Kriya Sharir, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Mamta Tiwari
Department of Swasthavritta and Yoga, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS, BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AYUHOM.AYUHOM_16_22

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Background: Child malnutrition continues to exist as a major public health concern worldwide mainly in most of the low- and middle-income countries such as India. The screening of the school children is an effective tool to quantify the current prevalence in the country. There are various determinants that influence the risk of malnutrition as parental educational status, socioeconomic status, and family size are considered important determinants of the nutritional status of the child. Objective: The present study in selected school in Varanasi District aimed to evaluate the overall the prevalence of malnutrition (i.e., stunting, underweight, overweight, and obesity) in 11–15 years aged school children of urban and rural parts of Varanasi and analyze the associated socioeconomic factors. Materials and Methods: The school-based study of 729 (336 from rural and 393 urban) school children was carried out and compared against World Health Organization reference standards to determine the nutritional status. The association of various socioeconomic factors was analyzed. Results: The prevalence of undernutrition (stunting) in both the study areas is 20.8% (24% in rural and 21.7% in urban). In body mass index analysis, 15.77% were thin, 6.25% were severely thin and only 2.38% were overweight in rural area while 14.24% were thin, 7.8% were severely thin and 11.9% were overweight in the urban area schools. The significant association between house type, mother education, father education, mother education, and father education with nutritional status. Conclusion: Malnutrition is the emerging problem for adolescent age group children in India. The nondietary determinants of the malnutrition need to be addressed with comprehensive strategy.

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