Prevalence and Determinants Of Nutritional Status Among Preschoolers in a Rural Area Of Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala
Keywords:Stunting, Underweight, Anthropometric Assessment, Preschool Children, Kerala
Malnutrition among preschoolers is of grave concern and it lingers unabated in India, despite nutritional intervention policies of the State. Though Kerala is far ahead of other States in health outcomes, the triple burden of malnutrition is rampant. A micro-level analysis is conducted to assess the prevalence and determinants of stunting and underweight among 189 preschool children in Vithura, a tribal-dominated rural Panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. In the study area, 38 per cent of children are stunted, which is higher among children belonging to tribal communities, and 19 per cent of preschool children are underweight. The occurrence of underweight is 27 per cent among tribal children, whereas it is 17 per cent among non-tribals. Caste, asset ownership status and maternal height are significantly associated with stunting, whereas underweight is significantly associated with asset ownership. In the logit model, caste significantly contributes to normal height for age. It is found that high asset group and age of the child being ‘13-36’ months increase the probability of being not underweight.
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