Title: Thinness among primary school children of the migrated Santals of Arambag, West Bengal, India

Authors: Gopal Chandra Mandal; Kaushik Bose

Addresses: Bangabasi College, 19, Rajkumar Chakraborty Sarani, Kolkata, 700009, India ' Department of Anthropology, Vidyagar University, Paschim Midnapore, 721102, West Bengal, India

Abstract: Primary school age is a dynamic period of physical growth and mental development of the child. Child nutritional status is an essential component of a country's overall human development. The strength of a nation in the future will be determined by how healthy and educated its people are. The tribal populations are among the most underprivileged and undernourished people in India. The nutritional status of Santal tribal children, as measured by thinness, has not been investigated. The present study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of thinness among the primary school children of Santals of Bali-Gram Panchayat, Arambag, Hooghly District, West Bengal, India. The overall mean (sd) BMI among boys and girls were 13.7 (0.9) and 13.2 (1.6), respectively. The overall prevalence of thinness was 75.95%. Both sexes had similar rates of thinness: boys = 75.9%; girls = 76.0%. The χ² test revealed that there were no significant sex differences in the overall rate of thinness among the studied Santal children. The results of the present study clearly indicated that the nutritional situation as measured by thinness of these children was not satisfactory. Appropriate nutritional intervention and policies are required.

Keywords: migrated Santal; primary school children; body mass index; BMI; child thinness; India; primary schools; child nutrition; tribal populations; gender; nutritional intervention.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFSNPH.2014.063504

International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2014 Vol.5 No.1, pp.46 - 53

Available online: 16 Jul 2014 *

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