6. Original Scientific Paper

Aim: The tribes of India constitute approximately 8.6% of the total population of the country. Undernutrition among tribal populations is a significant public health problem in India. The present study was carried out to assess age trends in anthropometric characteristics and nutritional status among adult Sabars.

Methods: It was a community-based cross-sectional study, carried out in tribal areas of Bankura District, West Bengal, India. These were located approximately 60 km radius from Bankura, 233 km from Kolkata, the state capital of West Bengal. A total 226 adult (male = 111 and female = 115) Sabar tribals, aged over 18 years in those village areas were included in the study.

Results: The mean values of height (HT), weight (WT), mid-upper arm (MUAC), neck (NC), and waist circumferences (WC), body mass index (BMI) and total body water (TBW) were significantly higher (p < 0.001) among males than females. Among females, mean values of biceps (BSF) and triceps skinfold (TSF) and percent body fat (PBF) were significantly higher (p < 0.001). Age trends were statistically significant (p < 0.01, p < 0.05) in WT, MUAC, and TBW in all categories (male, female and combined sex). Among females (as well as sex-combined) statistical significant age trends were observed in HT, BMI and PBF. The overall sex-combined prevalence of undernutrition was 51.8%. The prevalence of undernutrition was significantly (chi square = 6.530, df = 2, p < 0.05) higher (56.5%) in females than males (46.8%). The prevalence of undernutrition increased with increase in age.

Conclusion: Undernutrition is a major health problem among this tribal population. Their nutritional status was unsatisfactory. The nutritional stress was critical and this condition increased with the increase in age.

Download Complete Article

Leave a Reply

Article Information

Article Authors