1. Original Scientific Paper

Background: Undernutrition is the major public health problem in developing countries including India. The conventional anthropometric measurements of stunting, underweight and wasting are used to assess the undernutrition. The composite index of anthropometric failure (CIAF) is recently proposed as an alternate anthropometric measure of undernutrition assessment in children.

Aims and objectives: The objectives of the present study are to assess and compare the prevalence of undernutrition using conventional anthropometric measures and CIAF among pre-school Karbi children of Karbi Anglong District, Assam, India.

Material and Methods: Present community based cross-sectional study was carried out among 400 Karbi (197 boys; 203 girls) pre-school children aged 2-5 years in Karbi Anglong, Assam, Northeast India. Anthropometric measurements of height and weight were collected using standard anthropometric procedures. The WHO Anthro software (version 3.2.2) was used to calculate the Z-scores values of weight-for-height, weight-for-age and height-forage. Z-score value of any indices found to be <−2SD is classified as undernutrition. Standard classification of CIAF was used to assess undernutrition. Statistical analysis of descriptive statistics, ANOVA and chi-square analysis was done using SPSS (version 17.0).

Results: The overall prevalence of underweight, stunting, wasting and CIAF were 26.75%, 35.50%, 18.50% and 51.00%, respectively. It was further revealed that the girls were observed to be more affected due to wasting (18.72% vs. 18.27%), underweight (28.57% vs.24.87%) and CIAF (51.72% vs.50.25%), except stunting (35.47%
vs. 35.53%) (p>0.05). It was further observed that the girls were observed to be more affected in sexspecific undernutrition in different CIAF categories (i.e., Groups B, D, E and Y) than boys, with the exception being in Group C and Group F (p>0.05). Conclusion: These finding will help to identify population-specific nutritional deprivation and aid in planning nutritional supplementation policies and programmes especially for the tribal children to reduce the actual burden of undernutrition and for the overall improvement of health status of the community.

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