Nutritional assessment in developmentally retarded children of 3-10 years age group
Keywords:Children, Dietary intake, Intellectual disability, Nutritional assessment
Background: Intellectual disability is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a child and is specifically characterized by sub average intellectual functioning existing concurrently with limitations in conceptual, social, practical adaptive skills. Non-nutritional factors may influence growth, but nutritional factors such as insufficient calorie intake, excessive nutrient losses and abnormal energy metabolism also contribute to growth failure.
Methods: A hospital based descriptive study was conducted where children with intellectual disability of 3 years to 10 years age group brought to child psychiatry OPD during the study period were enrolled in the study. The study was conducted in Government Medical College, Nizamabad which is a teaching hospital. Study period was for one and half year - from January 2017 to June 2018.
Results: Out of 100 children with intellectual disabilities 32% of children were 2-5 years and 68% of children were 6-10 years. 64% of children were thin with a BMI <5th percentile and 36% of children were normal BMI falling in the range of 5th-85th percentile. Energy intake, calcium, iron and zinc intake were low in all age groups of children with intellectual disabilities.
Conclusions: Regular assessment of nutritional status of intellectually disabled children may be of value in correcting nutrient deficiencies promptly, as nutrient intake has a bearing on the growth, development and stature of an individual. Hence early detection and nutritional intervention prevents malnutrition and increases the quality of life in children with intellectual disabilities.
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