Assessment of the dietary habits and anthropometric measurements among preschool children

Author: 
Deelip S. Natekar., Shriharsha C and Ninganagouda G. Patil

Background: Under nutrition contributes to nearly half of all deaths in under five children and is widespread in Asia and Africa. This translates into the unnecessary loss of about 3 million young lives a year. Under nutrition puts children at greater risk of dying from common infections, increases the frequency and severity of such infections, and contributes to delayed recovery. Hence it is very important to assess the dietary habits and anthropometric measurements of Preschool Children to screen for malnutrition.
Aims and Objectives: The study aims at assessing the dietary habits and anthropometric measurements of preschool children to find the association between the dietary habits and nutritional status of preschool children.
Materials and methods: Dietary habits of preschool children were assessed by a structured rating scale in an interview of parents of preschool children. Anthropometric measurements like weight, height and mid-arm circumference were taken to determine the nutritional status of preschool children with help of Z score obtained by entering the data into WHO Anthro software.
Results: Results show that, 63% of preschool children had average dietary habits and 37% of them had poor dietary. Assessment of Nutritional Status according to anthropometric measurements reveal that, 43% of preschool children fell under normal nutritional status according their weight for age (≤ -2 to +2 Score), 46% of preschool children had normal nutritional status according their height for age (≤ -2 to +2 Score), 66% of preschool children had normal nutritional status are to their m mid arm circumference for age (≤-2 to +2 Score), 66% of preschool children had normal nutritional status according to BMI for age (≤-2 to +2 Score), and 64% of preschool children had normal nutritional status according to their Weight for height (≤-2 to +2 z score). Significant association was found between Dietary habits and Weight for age (χ2 =6.84, P<0.05), Mid arm circumference for age (χ2 =4.36, P<0.05), BMI for age (χ2 =7.83, P<0.05), Weight for height (χ2 =6.9, P<0.05). Significant association was found between dietary habits and Father Education (x2=7.9, P<0.05) and Type of house (x2=8.24, P<0.05).
Conclusion: Dietary habits of preschool children are strongly associated with their nutritional status. Hence the dietary habits should be improved to enhance their nutritional status.

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DOI: 
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24327/ijcar.2017.5313.0696