Sri Aurobindo Medical College & Post Graduate Institute, Indore, India.
Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon, India.
Objective: The aim of this study was to find out the prevalence of protein energy malnutrition(PEM) by anthropometric measurements in preschool children of tribal community of Chhattisgarh.
Material and Methods: A total of 449 children [237 boys and 212 girls] from 286 families were selected randomly. Anthropometric measurements were done as per standard protocol. The level of underweight, stunting and wasting was assessed using standard deviation (SD) classification as against National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reference standards
Results: 369 (82.1%) children belonged to one or the other grade of PEM. 189 (42%) belonged to grade II, 92 (20.4%) belonged to grade III and 84 (18.7%) belonged to grade IV while only 80(17.8%) were healthy We found that only 99 children (22%) were normal, 206 children (45.8%) were stunted, 30 (6.68%) were wasted, 114 (25.3%) were wasted and stunted.
Conclusion: This study found very high rates of malnutrition in the form of underweight, stunting and wasting in preschool children of tribal community, indicating a critical situation. There is urgent need for an integrated approach towards improving the child health as well as nutritional status in this area.