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Ramesh Sahani, Rajesh K. Gautam, Amir H. Golnabi and Neeraj Vedwan

Abstract

The indigenous islanders of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are representing the earliest form of developmental stage, their nutritional assessment and anthropometric comparison with contemporary populations are the main objective of the present paper. In this study we present a cross sectional analysis of anthropometric data of 2010 individuals of 19 different groups. The data were collected by the trained anthropologists of Anthropological Survey of India, following standard techniques and ethical guidelines. It was found that the Indigenous Islanders have small body size as compared to immigrants and counterparts. The prevalence of chronic energy deficiency (CED) was found highest among the mainlanders. Highest prevalence of overweight was found among Great Andamanese (18.2%), followed by Onge (7.4%). Individuals below 21 years of age were not found to be overweight or obese. On the other side, 16.7% of individual of age 41+ of local born were found to be overweight (BMI 25.0-29.9 kg/m2). It can be concluded that the Indigenous people of the Islands are short in stature and nutritionally better than immigrants. The immigrants are better than their counterparts in the mainland, but still they are not able to reach at par of the indigenous people in the level of nutrition whereas logarithmic transformation of data and scaling exponent (β) of weight to height was found ~2 across these populations.

Open access

Rachna Thakur and Rajesh K. Gautam

Abstract

The prevalence of undernutrition is a significant area of concern in many developing countries, where it is a major public health problem. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of undernutrition among school-going boys and girls of central Indian city Sagar, MP. A total of 612 individuals (312 girls and 300 boys) aged 5–18 years were examined and compared to the NCHS reference data. The nutritional status was assessed using following anthropometric indicators: body height and weight, body mass index (BMI) and composite index of anthropometric failure (CIAF). It was found that girls were heavier (1 kg) and taller (2–5 cm) than boys up to 15 and 13 years of age, respectively. After that, boys became taller with 1 to 13 cm. The mean BMI of boys was higher to girls up to 10 year of age after that the trend was reversed. Comparison of the present findings with NCHS reference data revealed that Indian girls and boys were lagging behind. The difference in body weight between the reference data and the present sample was around 5 to 6 kg. The pattern of difference in body height revealed small amount during early childhood (6.6.cm and 9.6 cm in girls and boys 5 years of age). This difference more than doubled at the age of 14 years in girls 16.7 cm and in boys 17.5 cm (p<0.01). Similar pattern was found for BMI with 6.5 kg/m2 and 6.3 kg/m2 in 14 years old girls and 16 years old boys (p<0.01). Z-score values of weight-for-age, height-for-age and BMI-for-age revealed that that boys were more likely to be stunted than girls whereas girls were more likely to be underweight and undernourished than boys. In terms of CIAF 10.6% girls and 10% boys were undernourished. The results of the present study indicate that there is great need for implementation of health programmes to eliminate gender inequalities and improve children’s health.