Main Article Content
Malnutrition among under-five children is a major public health problem all around the world. About more than 30% of the malnutrition world-wide is prevalent in southern Asia, a significant proportion of which is contributed by India. It is well known that malnutrition is frequently a part of a vicious cycle that includes poverty and infections, which can last a life-time and may also affect the next generations. This study aims to assess the nutritional status of children less than 5 years in a semi-urban area of Tamil Nadu using a composite index of anthropometric failure. A cross-sectional community-based study was undertaken among 168 children and anthropometric measurements were taken. Using conventional Z score indicators, 22.62% of the children were found to be stunted, 43.45% of the children were underweight and wasting was found in 45.83% of the children. Whereas using CIAF, the results were found to be 38.69% (no failure), 11.90% (Only wasting), 23.21% (Wasting and underweight), 11.31% (Wasting, underweight and Stunting), 6.55% (Stunting and underweight) 5.36% (Only stunting) and 2.98% (Only underweight). There was an unacceptably high prevalence of malnutrition among under-five children. Therefore, using CIAF showed better classification of undernutrition than conventional indicators. Also, health institutions at all levels should integrate nutrition as a health component and there is a need to educate the parents to provide age-appropriate energy-rich, locally available and nutritionally balanced food items. Accelerating the reduction in under-5 mortality is possible by expanding effective preventive and curative interventions that target the main causes of undernutrition. This will, in the long run, help in making this nation healthier, stronger, and more prosperous.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.