International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology ISSN: 2169-303X Vol. 2 (4), pp. 078-084, July, 2013. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Malnutrition among rural Indian children: An assessment using web of indices

Fahmina Anwar1, Manoj Kumar Gupta2, C.Prabha3 and R.K.Srivastava4

1,3 Research fellow, Department of Community Medicine Institute of Medical sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

2Assistant professor, Institute of Health Management Research, Bangalore, India.

 4Professor, Department of Community Medicine Institute of Medical sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India.

*Corresponding author E-mail:

Accepted 9 April, 2013


Childhood malnutrition is an enduring problem in developing countries. Cases with mild-to-moderate malnutrition are likely to remain unrecognized because conventional measures of under nutrition may be missing out a considerable proportion of undernourished children present in the population. With this background, a community based study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of under nutrition among children by using various available indicators. It is a community based on cross sectional study carried out in the rural area of Varanasi, India. A total of 483 children aged 0-36 months were examined that were selected by adopting appropriate sampling methodology. They were subjected to anthropometry (weight, height and Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC)) measurements following standard technique.BMI and other parameters were also assessed, the data thus obtained was analysed using SPSSv16.0.  Prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting were 43.1%, 35.2% and 31.5%, respectively. The Composite Index of Anthropometric Failure (CIAF) shows 62.5% of children suffering from anthropometric failure. As much as 88 (42.9%) children were suffering from malnutrition according to MUAC criteria (< 13.5 cm). Nearly two thirds of the children were in the zone of anthropometric failure. There is a need and scope to construct an alternative indicator to provide a single, aggregated figure of the number of undernourished children in a population.

Key words: Anthropometric measurements, stunting, underweight, wasting, anthropometric failure.