International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2018 | Month: June | Volume: 8 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 249-258

Regional Disparity in Nutritional Status in India: An Examination

Pawan Kumar Dubey1, Nisha Tiwari2, Ravi Prakash Jha1

1Research Scholar, Division of Biostatistics, 2Research Scholar
Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

Corresponding Author: Ravi Prakash Jha


Introduction: Child malnutrition is a wide spread public health problem globally; adequate nutrition is an essential determinant for their well-being. India has the highest occurrence of childhood under nutrition in the world. Despite recent achievement in Indian economic growth, the fruit of development has failed to secure a better nutritional status of children. The aim of this paper is to assess the regional variation of nutritional status of children.
Data and methods: The data used for this study is NFHS-3, 2005-06, India. The dependent variable e.g. the child nutritional status was analyzed using three indicators of undernutrition. These were stunting (height-for-age), wasting (weight-for-height) and underweight (weight-for-age). Various socio-demographic variables were taken as independent variables. A logistic regression method was used to assess the predictors of nutritional status.
Result: The vast regional variation in percentages of stunting, underweight and wasting exhibited some kind of regional pattern. Among the three indicators of nutritional status, percentage of stunting was generally higher in stunting followed by underweight and wasting. Stunting percentage was higher in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, and Gujarat with more than 40%. Also, underweight cases were observed higher in Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh with 40% to 50%. Likewise, Bihar, Tripura, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh had more wasting cases (more than 20%). Among the socio-demographic variables, education of parents, wealth index, type of castes, Birth order, preceding birth intervals (months) emerged as most important indicators of under nutrition.
Conclusion: Education of parents, wealth index, birth order, spacing being the significant predictors, suggesting that at least check on higher birth order with adequate spacing can reduce substantially the problem of undernutrition. Further, Program planner and policy makers should consider & strengthen collaboration and coordination of nutritional program that aimed to alleviate nutritional deficiencies and family health program.

Key words: stunting, underweight, wasting, NFHS, Logistic Regression.

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