Factors influencing nutritional status of school children in an urban slum of Hyderabad, India

Saba Syed, Raghavendra Rao


Background: Under nutrition continues to be a primary cause of ill health among children in developing countries. Adequate nutrition is critical for optimal growth, health and development of children. Objectives of the present study were to assess the nutritional status and study its association with certain pertinent socio economic and demographic factors in private school students in an urban slum of Greater Hyderabad.  

Methods: It was a descriptive, cross-sectional study. Study area was an urban slum in greater Hyderabad. Five private schools were chosen by systematic random technique and study was finally done with 394 participants. Socio demographic details collection was followed by assessment of nutritional status by anthropometric measurements.

Results: Among 394 students, 29 % students were found to be undernourished, 17% stunted, 10% wasted 2 % both stunted and wasted. This study shows highly significant association (P<0.05) of factors like per capita income, maternal illiteracy, maternal occupation and adequacy of maternal dietary knowledge with the child’s nutritional status.

Conclusions: Under nutrition continues to be a threat to the wellbeing of urban slum children attending private schools. Maternal illiteracy, occupation, inadequacy of dietary knowledge and social class are significantly associated with nutritional status of children. 


Under nutrition, Nutritional status, School children, Anthropometry, Urban slum

Full Text:



UNICEF. State of world’s children, 2012. Available at: Accessed 1 December 2014.

UNICEF, India. The children - Nutrition. Available at: http:/ Accessed 3 December 2014.

Gupta K, Arnold F, Lhungdim H. Health and living conditions in eight Indian cities. India: National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3); 2005-06.

IIPS. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3). India: International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International; 2005-06.

WHO. Effective school health programmes, school health and youth health promotion. Available at: Accessed 7 December 2014.

de Onis M, Monteiro C, Akré G. Clugston J. The worldwide magnitude of protein-energy malnutrition: an overview from the WHO Global Database on Child Growth. Bull World Health Organ. 1993;71(6):703-12.

Sharma R. Revision of Prasad’s social classification and provision of an online tool for real-time updating. South Asian J Cancer. 2013;2(3):157.

WHO, Physical Status. The use and interpretation of anthropometry. Report of WHO. Tech.Ser.N.854. Geneva: WHO; 1995:267-308.

Waterlow JC. Classification and definition of protein-calorie malnutrition. Br Med J. 1972;3(5826):566-9.

WHO. Growth reference data for 5-19 years. Available at: Accessed 15 December 2014.

Agarwal DK, Agarwal KN, Upadhyay SK, Mittal R, Prakash R, Rai S. Physical and sexual growth pattern of affluent Indian children from 5-18 years of age. Indian Pediatr. 1992;29:1203-82.

Khadilkar VV, Khadilkar AV, Cole TJ, Sayyad MG. Cross sectional growth curves for height, weight and body mass index for affluent Indian children, 2007. Indian Pediatr. 2009;46:477-89.

Marwaha RK, Tandon Nikhil, Ganie Mohd Ashraf, Kanwar Ratnesh, Shivaprasad C, Sabharwal Amit, et al. Reference data for height, weight and body mass index of Indian school children, 2011. Natl Med J India. 2011;24:269-77.

Arnold F, Parasuraman S, Arokiasamy P, Kothari M. Nutrition in India. India: National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3); 2005-06.

Sebastion MS, Senti S. The health status of rural school children in amazon basin of Ecuador. J Trop Pediatr. 1999;45:379-82.

Lwambo NJ, Brooker S, Siza JE, Bundy DA, Guyatt H. Age patterns in stunting and anaemia in African schoolchildren: a cross-sectional study in Tanzania. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000;54:36-40.

Shakya SR, Bhandary S, Pokharel PK. Nutritional status and morbidity pattern among governmental primary school children in the Eastern Nepal. Kathmandu Univ Med J. 2004;2:307-14.

Pradhan E, Leclerg SC, Khatry SK. Child growth: chapter in a window to child health in the Terai. NNIPS Monograph. 1999;1:19-21.

Mishra VK, Retherford RD. Women’s education can improve child nutrition in India. Bulletin National Family Health Survey; Mumbai: IIPS; 2000:15.