Assessment and comparison of nutritional status in children aged 0-5 years based on WHO and IAP growth charts


  • Perumalpillai Santhakumaran Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Srinivasan Govindaraj Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Sivaraman Thirumalaikumarasamy Department of Paediatrics, Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India



Anthropometric indices, IAP growth charts, Malnutrition, WHO standars


Background: The problems of malnutrition among under five children can be used to conclude the necessity for nutritional care, surveillance, or appropriate intervention of nutritional programmes in a community. The objective of the present study was to assess the nutritional status in under 5 children and to compare the nutritional status with WHO and IAP Growth curves and to evaluate the relationship of same with variables like literacy, income of parents, order of birth, sex of the child, birth weight and breast feeding.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study was carried out in 1052 children aged under 0-5 years hailing from middle and low socio-economic class of an urban population attended to out-patient department and ward in Government Royapettah Hospital and Anaganwadi centres in and around Royapettah during the period of November 2006 to October 2007. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height/length, middle arm circumference (MAC) were taken for all the children and all the measurements were plotted in the IAP growth chart, WHO growth chart (Z score - 2006), BMI - WHO standards and compared.

Results: Out of 1052 children, majority of the subjects were male children 535 (50.9%). As per IAP guidelines, majority of the children 513 (48.8%) were under normal weight, 5 (0.5%) of them were with very severe malnutrition. According to WHO standards most of the children 623 (59.2%) were under weight and 135 (12.8%) were under severe malnutrition. Positive correlation was observed between the nutritional status of the children with educational and employment status of parents, increasing birth weight and family income. Increasing birth order has a negative influence on nutritional status of the child. Optimally breast fed babies (Exclusively breast fed for 6 months with appropriate complementary feeds thereafter) have better nutritional status.

Conclusion: The study concludes that utmost care and attention must be focused on child’s nutrition by giving priority to education for poor community especially for women, creating awareness regarding benefits of early initiation of breastfeeding and limiting family size.


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