Nutritional status and dietary intake in tribal children of Bihar.Indian Pediatr 1999; 36(1):37-42IP
To assess the dietary intake and nutritional status in children of the tribal areas of Bihar.
Cross sectional survey with two stage probability proportional to size sampling.
Study covered 396 villages from 17 tribal districts of Bihar.
1847 preschool children (0-6 Years) were studied.
24 hours recall method was used to assess the nutrition intake and anthropometric measurements included height and weight. Nutritional intake was compared with Indian Council of Medical Research recommended dietary allowances (RDA) and nutritional status assessed by SD classification.
The intake of protein was broadly in line with the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) in all age groups among children. However, the average intake of energy and other nutrients was lower in allage groups as compared to RDA. Calorie deficiency was 38% whereas protein deficiency was about 19%. More than half of the children were caloric deficient in Katihar, Bokaro, Godda and Singhbhum (east and west). The overall prevalence of stunting was about 60% and underweight about 55% and was comparable in boys and girls. However, wasting was more frequent in girls (urban - 34.5% vs. 16.3% and rural - 34.9% vs 18%). The level of malnutrition was not very different in rural and urban areas.
The nutritional status and dietary intakes of tribal children in Bihar is very poor. Urgent remedial measures are required in this context, particularly on a war footing in especially vulnerable districts identified by this survey.