Indian Journal of Science and Technology
Year: 2011, Volume: 4, Issue: 2, Pages: 131-140
N. Rema* and G. Vasanthamani
Dept. of Food Service Management and Dietetics, Avinashilingam Deemed University, Coimbatore–43, TN, India. [email protected]
The prevalence of both nutritional as well as lifestyle disorders is common among children as quoted by the World Health Organization (2010) and we studied this in both urban and rural areas of Coimbatore city. The students were selected from 5 schools each of Matriculation, Corporation and Panchayat in the age group of 6-15 years. Background information of the 2180 students from Matriculation schools, 2122 students from Corporation and 1870 from Panchayat schools was obtained using an interview schedule. Nutritional deficiencies among children were recorded using the physical signs and symptoms. Lifestyle disorders, particularly the prevalence of hypertension was observed among the students by measurement of systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Anthropometric measurements like height, weight, mid upper arm circumference were done using standardized procedures. It could be deciphered from the anthropometric measurements that 8.44% of boys and 7.43% of girls from Matriculation schools were obese, while in Corporation schools, 5.73% boys and 4.45 % girls and in Panchayat schools 2.65% boys and 1.59% girls were found to be obese. Common nutritional deficiencies identified among the students include anemia prevalent among 24.22% boys and 21.54% girls in Matriculation schools while it was 35.43% boys and 46% girls in the Corporation schools and 34.4% boys and 41.92% girls from Panchayat schools among the pre-adolescent group. Among the adolescents, 47.11% boys and 66.82% girls in Matriculation schools, 64.65% boys and 69.52% girls in Corporation schools and 58.67% boys and 67.5% girls in Panchayat schools had anemia. Other common nutritional deficiencies identified were vitamin A and skin infections. Thus, the extremities of obesity as well as underweight and nutritional deficiencies are prevalent among the school going children. The common lifestyle disorders prevalent among the children were obesity and hypertension.
Keywords: Obesity, underweight, school going children, nutritional deficiencies, life style disorders, anthropometry.
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