Nutritional status of adolescent school children in a semi-urban area based on anthropometry


  • Vinoth Selvaraj Department of Pediatrics, Chengalpattu Medical College, Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Shanthi Sangareddi Institute of Social Paediatrics, Stanley Medical College, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Lakshmi Velmurugan Institute of Social Paediatrics, Stanley Medical College, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Umakanthan Muniyappan Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Fatima Shirly Anitha Department of Pediatrics, Chengalpattu Medical College, Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu, India



Obesity, Thinness, Stunting, Anthropometry


Background: Adolescent nutrition is generally given less importance when compared to the under-five nutrition in developing countries like India. Studies throwing light on the nutritional status of adolescent children are needed. Aims and objectives of the study were to know the prevalence of obesity, overweight, thinness, severe thinness and stunting in adolescent schoolchildren based on anthropometry and its association with various factors.

Methods: A cross sectional study was done in six schools in a semi urban area of Southern part of India during November 2012-November 2013.Obesity,overweight,thinness, severe thinness and stunting were determined in the children of the age group of 9-17 years based on WHO Z scores. A predesigned questionnaire and clinical examination were used to find out the factors associated with malnutrition and their implications.

Results:Out of the 2100 children studied, the prevalence of obesity was 6%; overweight 10.9%, thinness 13%; severe thinness 5% and stunting 19.8%. Mother’s education, occupation and socioeconomic status have significant associations with both over nutrition and under nutrition. Skipping breakfast is associated with thinness.

Conclusions:Even though obesity and overweight are increasing in recent times; under nutrition is still prevalent in adolescent school children. Routine school health visits, improving female literacy, dietary modifications, imparting health as well as physical education are the need of the hour to avoid malnutrition in adolescent school children.


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