Assessment of Nutritional Status and Its Determinants Among Pre-School Children Within Dalit Communities of Jessore City in Bangladesh: A Cross-Sectional Study
International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences
The socio-religiously considered low class Dalit communities are living below extreme poverty line in Bangladesh. They face discrimination at all levels of social interactions. Lack of access to education, extreme poverty issues, health and housing problems, and unequal access to work and employment may put this underprivileged community at the risk of malnutrition. Objectives: This study was carried out to determine the nutritional status and associated factors among preschool children within
... arious Dalit communities in Jessore city, Bangladesh. Study Design: A cross sectional study was undertaken among 165 pre-school children (24-60 months) randomly selected from different Dalit families living in Jessore city, Bangladesh. Anthropometric methods and a structured questionnaire were used to collect the required data. WHO based anthropometric Z scores and MUAC (Mid Upper Arm Circumference) indicators were used to measure nutritional status of the children. Data analysis at 5% level of significance was performed by Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS)-22 software. Results: About 58% and 45% of the studied preschool children were stunted and underweight respectively while 22.5% children were wasted. Nearly 8.5% children were obese or at risk of being obese. Most of the parents were illiterate or just completed only primary education. Mother and father education status was not statistically significant with stunting, wasting and underweight status of pre-school children. Moderate and severe stunting were relatively higher among younger children (p<0.05). According to MUAC assessment 82.4% of the children were normal, 16.9% had mild to moderate and 0.6% was severely malnourished. Most of those malnourished children belonged to younger age groups (p<0.01). MUAC of the children was significant with their mother education status (p<0.05). 61.2% children who suffered diarrhea or pneumonia in last 2 months had lower weight for age (p<0.05) and weight for height (p<0.01) than who didn't. Conclusions: About half of preschool children among Dalit communities in Jessore city live with chronic malnutrition like stunting and underweight. Maternal health status as well as other socio-demographic factors can affect the nutritional status of children.