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Assessment of nutritional status in Indian preschool children using WHO 2006 Growth Standards
Authors: Prema Ramachandran & Hema S. Gopalan
Source: Indian Journal of Medical Research, 134:47-53
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Asia
Published: JUL 2011
Abstract: Background & objectives: This study attempts to compare the pattern of growth of Indian children as assessed by weight for age, height for age and BMI for age with the WHO standards for growth (2006) and to explore the implications of differences in undernutrition rates in the 0-59 months of age group as assessed by these three indices. Methods: From the National Family Health Survey -3 database, growth curves for height, weight and BMI for age in Indian preschool children were computed using LMS software and compared with the WHO (2006) standards. Using the WHO (2006) standards, trends in prevalence of undernutrition as assessed by height, weight and BMI for age in the 0-59 month age group were computed. Results: During the first three months there was no increase in underweight and stunting rates. There was progressive increase in underweight and stunting rates between 3-23 months of age. Low BMI for age and wasting rates were highest at birth. Interpretation & conclusions: Poor growth is an adaptation to chronic low energy intake and stunting is a measure of cumulative impact of chronic energy deficiency on linear growth. It is important to prevent stunting because it is not readily reversible. Low BMI is an indictor of current energy deficit. Early detection of energy deficit using BMI for age and expeditious interventions to correct the deficit might be effective in prevention of stunting.