Nutritional status and prevalence of anemia in rural adolescents

Ezhilarasu Ramalingam, Sivaraman Thirumalaikumarasamy, Balakrishnan Nadesan, Mani Madhavan Sachithanantha Mooorthi


Background: In developing countries like India, the adolescents constituting one fourth of population are not given the due importance in terms of resource allocation on health care or research. Thus, painting a lopsided picture of adolescent’s health and nutritional status is not truly reflective of ground realities. The objective of this study was to assess the nutritional status of the adolescent community residing in rural block and the prevalence of anemia among these adolescents.

Methods: The study was a community based cross sectional survey among adolescents of 10 to 19 years of both sexes, from October 2004 to March 2006. Nutritional status, hemoglobin and prevalence of anemia were observed.

Results: Under nutrition was found to be a significant problem in both sexes of rural adolescents. Anemia was more common in female than in male in both school going and non-school going.

Conclusions: The significant number of anemic is in the middle adolescent age group, could be explained by the fact that menarche is attained around 12 years and the first few cycles are irregular with increased blood loss. So, any policy towards low birth weight and neonatal mortality needs the policy makers to make a note of this alarming trend of anemia among adolescent girls. 


Nutritional status, Prevalence of anemia, School going and non-school going adolescents

Full Text:



Lenz B. The transition from adolescence to young adulthood: a theoretical perspective. J Sch Nurs. 2001;17(6):300-6.

Adolescents transition: the challenges and the way out (african perspective). Available from: Accessed on 10 January 2017.

WHO. Available from: Accessed on 10 January 2017.

WHO. Available from: Accessed on 10 January 2017.

Story M, Stang J. Nutrition needs of adolescents. Available: Accessed on 10 January 2017.

Alvarez-Uria G, Naik PK, Midde M, Yalla PS, Pakam R. Prevalence and Severity of Anaemia Stratified by Age and Gender in Rural India. Anemia. 2014 (2014), Article ID 176182, 5 pages.

Anand K, Kant S, Kapoor SK. Nutritional status of adolescent school children in rural north India. Indian pediatr. 1999;36:810-6.

Basu S, Hazarika R, Parmar V. Prevalence of anemia among school going adolescents of Chandigarh. Indian Pediatrics. 2005;42:594.

Rajarathnam J, Paul Jonathan J, Rajarathnam, Abel, Ashokan. Prevalence of anemia among adolescent girls of rural Tamil Nadu. Indian paediatr. 2000;37:532-8.

Srivastava M, Agarwal DK, Agarwal A, Agarwal S, Agarwal KN. Nutritional status of rural non-pregnant non-lactating women in reproductive age. Indian ournal Pediatr. 1998; 35(10):975-83.

Shali T, Singh C, Goindi G. Prevalence of anemia amongst pregnant Mothers and children in Delhi. Indian J Pediatr. 2004;71:946.