Journal of Biosocial Science

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RISK FACTORS FOR MALNUTRITION IN SOUTH INDIAN CHILDREN


L. JEYASEELAN a1 and M. LAKSHMAN a1
a1 Biostatistics Department, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract

Protein energy malnutrition is a major health problem in India and it affects the growth and development of young children. This study investigated the impact of hygiene, housing and sociodemographic variables on acute malnutrition in children aged 5–7, living in urban and rural areas. Ordinal logistic regression analysis showed that the overall prevalence of severe malnutrition was 8·2%. Older age, male sex, mother's poor education, lower family income, higher birth order of the child, use of dung or fire wood as fuel and defecation within the premises were significantly associated with malnutrition. Appropriate intervention programmes should be formulated to educate and support these families.