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Body Mass Index and Chronic Energy Deficiency among Adult Santals of Purulia District, West Bengal, India.

Author(s): Subal Das | Kaushik Bose

Journal: International Journal of Human Sciences
ISSN 1303-5134

Volume: 7;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 488;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Purulia | Santal | body mass index | chronic energy deficiency | gender differences.

The present community based cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the overall prevalence of undernutrition using BMI (kg/m2) among adult Santal tribals of Purulia District, West Bengal, India. Our study is measured data on height and weight of adults aged 18 years and above from 10 villages of Purulia District. A total of 513 (196 males and 317 females) adults aged 18 years and above were measured. One commonly used indicator i.e., BMI was used to evaluate the nutritional status of the subjects. Based on BMI, chronic energy deficiency (CED) was used as a measure of undernutrition. Females were found to be more undernourished than their male counterparts (30.6%) & (63.4%). This sex difference was statistically highly significant (x2 = 55.96; df = 4; p < 0.001). Our study demonstrated that Santals of Purulia, both males as well as females, were under nutritional stress. In general, tribes of West Bengal were experiencing serious to critical nutritional deficit. Urgent government attention is required to rectify this nutritional problem.
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