Document Type : Research Article
Introduction: India is a growing nation in terms of economy, but childhood mortality due to malnutrition is still a major problem in both urban and rural areas, especially amongst poor urban slum dwellers. Identification of malnutrition is the first step towards paying heed to this problem.
Materials and Methods: This was a community-based cross-sectional study conducted among 300 children in the age group of 0-18 years in an urban slum area of Aurangabad , Maharashtra. Anthropometric measurements were done using Salter’s weighing scale for weight assessment and measuring tape for height measurement. The WHO Child Growth Standards, 2006 reference data was used for that particular age and sex to get height for age (stunting), weight for age (underweight), and weight for height (wasting). Classification of Malnutrition was done by using IAP Classification and Waterlow’s Classification.
Results: Out of total 300 children, 170(56.66%) were boys and 130(43.34%) were girls. Most of the male and female children were between 6-10 years of age. Malnutrition was found in 81/300 [27%] children. Garde I Malnutrition [IAP classification] was found in 32/300 [10.66%] children followed by grade II and grade III found in 8% and 6.33% children, respectively. Obesity was also found in 6/300 [2%] children. No significant difference was found in prevalence of malnutrition between male and female children. Categorisation of malnutrition, according to Waterlow’s Classification showed wasting among 12% (36/300), female children and among 11% (33/300] male children.
Conclusion: The overall prevalence of malnutrition was found to be high. There is a need to survey slum areas to recognise childhood malnutrition in early stage in order to take necessary steps to tackle this major public health problem.