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Double burden of malnutrition among Indian schoolchildren and its measurement: a cross-sectional study in a single school.

ABSTRACT: Objective:This cross-sectional study set in a single school on the outskirts of a large city aimed to document the extent of double burden of malnutrition (coexistence of overnutrition and undernutrition) among Indian schoolchildren from lower socioeconomic groups, and to determine if mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) can be used as a proxy for body mass index (BMI). Subjects:The total number of participants was 1444, comprising 424 girls and 1020 boys belonging to playgroups and grades 1 to 7. Measurements:Anthropometric measurements, such as participants' MUAC, height and weight were measured using standard techniques. Descriptive statistics for BMI and MUAC were obtained based on gender; z-scores were computed using age-specific and sex-specific WHO reference data. The distribution of variables was calculated for three groups: girls, boys and all participants. Homogeneous subsets for BMI and MUAC were identified in the three groups. Age-wise comparisons of BMI and MUAC were conducted for each gender. Main outcome measures:(1) To know if MUAC and BMI are correlated among boys and girls. (2) To study BMI and MUAC z-score distribution among the participants. Results:MUAC was positively correlated with BMI in both boys and girls. The following BMI z-score distribution was observed: severe acute malnutrition (SAM), 5 (0.3%); moderate acute malnutrition (MAM), 146 (10.1%) and undernourished, at risk of MAM/SAM, 141 (9.8%); obese, 21 (1.5%); overweight, 36 (2.5%) and pre-obese, 136 (9.4%). The distribution of categories of children based on MUAC z-scores was: SAM, 7 (0.5%); MAM, 181 (12.5%) and undernourished, at risk of MAM/SAM, 181 (12.5%); obese, 19 (1.3%); overweight, 178 (12.3%) and pre-obese, 135 (9.3%). Conclusions:SAM/MAM/undernourished states and obesity/overweight/pre-obese states, indicating undernutrition more than overweight, coexist among Indian schoolchildren from lower middle/lower socioeconomic categories. BMI and MUAC were significantly correlated. MUAC identifies both undernutrition and overnutrition by early detection of aberrant growth.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC7015044 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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