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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-20

The role of familial characteristics on the nutritional status of preschool children: A comparative study on rural and urban children

1 Department of Community Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, SRMSIMS, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Patan, Gujarat, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Neha Sharma
Department of Community Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Jolly Grant, Dehradun - 248 016, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jphpc.jphpc_17_20

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Introduction: Nutritional status of underfive children is a proxy indicator for assessing the nutrition of the entire community and also the key predictor of child survival. While several studies have focused on the determinants of child's nutrition status in India, little attention has been given to the aspect of rural-urban variation in child's nutritional status in terms of their determinants. The present study is aimed to ascertain the magnitude and the factors affecting the malnutrition across rural & urban areas of Uttar Pradesh. Methodology: A community-based study was conducted for 2 months in the field practice areas of a tertiary care hospital. Multistage random sampling technique was used for the selection of study subjects. A total of 117 under-five children were studied equally from rural and urban area. A pre-designed pre-tested proforma was used to assess the feeding practices. Stunting and underweight were used to proxy the child nutrition status. Data were evaluated on SPSS version 17. Chi-square test was used to find out the association of family characteristics with nutritional status in the two areas. Results: Undernutrition was more prevalent in rural children than their urban counterparts. It was seen that in the rural areas, 1-3 year children were more wasted & underwt whereas 0-1 yr children were more stunted, whereas in urban areas0-1 yr children were more affected in terms of wasted & underwt whereas stunting was more prevalent in 3-5 yr children. Religion, family size, Environment & Social Class was found to have association with significant association with Undernutrition. Parental Education as well as Father's Occupation was also found to have Significant association with the nutritional status of underfive children. Conclusion: Familial characteristics have an important bearing on the nutritional status of underfive children. Hence Improvement in literacy especially female literacy will go a long way in improving the nutritional status of the child. Strategies are needed to improve the economic status of the community.

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