Gender inequality and bio‑social factors in nutritional status among under five children attending anganwadis in an urban slum of a town in Western Maharashtra, India

Kriti A Patel, Sanjivani D Langare, J. D. Naik, S. S. Rajderkar


  • Nutrition for under‑5 children is of great importance as the foundation for life‑time health, strength, and intellectual vitality is laid during this period. Globally, more than one‑third of the child deaths are attributable to under‑nutrition. The discriminatory attitudes against female children vary from being implicit to those that are quite explicit. So, the present cross‑sectional study aims to assess the nutritional status (gender differences) of 146 under‑5 children attending Anganwadis and also to study the bio‑socio‑demographic factors associated with malnutrition attending three Anganwadis of Adopted Urban slum area, involving anthropometric examination using standardized techniques and interview using predesigned semi‑structured questionnaire for the mothers in September‑October 2011. Nutritional status grading was done based on weight for age as per Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) Classification and using height for age as per Vishveshwara Rao’s Classification. 51.4% were males, majority in age group of 2‑3 years. 63% children were malnourished, majority in Grade I malnutrition. Out of the total females, 72% were stunted and 43% were severely malnourished having mid arm circumference <12.5 cm. Birth order (P < 0.05), education status of the mother (P < 0.001), socio‑economic status (P < 0.05) and type of family (P < 0.05) were found to be significantly associated with malnutrition.
  • Key words: Nutritional status, under‑5 children, urban slum, Western Maharashtra

Full Text: