3. Original Scientific Paper

The aim of this paper is to examine the physical growth of the study population as well as to assess the level of malnutrition and to understand the influence of socio-economic and socio-demographic parameters on their nutritional status. In this cross sectional study, sample size consists of 1770 school going children (789 boys and 981 girls), aged 9 to 16 years collected from different educational institutions of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, India. Subjects who looked apparently healthy and active were included in the study. Efforts were made to exclude those with physical deformities. Anthropometric measurements were taken according to the method suggested by Weiner and Lourie (1981). Ages was calculated from the date of birth as recorded in the school diary. Out of 1770 study participants, 244 (13.8%) were overweight (128 {16.2%} boys and 116 {11.8%} girls), whereas 256 (14.5%) were obese (87 {11.0%} boys and 169 {17.2%} girls). 201 (11.4%) were underweight (83 {10.5%} boys and 118 {11.8%} girls). Underweight is more prevailing among boys at the age group 9. The highest percentage of underweight prevailed among mothers who are laborer or heavy worker. The studied children were compared with NCHS children. All the observations suggest that North 24 Parganas children have striking similarity with the NCHS children.

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