, Volume 76, Issue 4, pp 391-399
Date: 10 Feb 2009

Growth and nutritional status of Bengali adolescent girls

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Abstract

Objective

Assessment of the growth and nutritional status among healthy Bengali adolescent schoolgirls at peri-urban area.

Methods

In this cross sectional study, sample consists of 527 school going adolescent girls, aged 10 to 18 years. The sample of the present study was collected from a peri-urban area (Duttapukur) of north 24 parganas district of West Bengal, India. Standard anthropometric measurements including linear, curvilinear and skinfold thickness were collected from each subject. Percentile curves and nutritional indices were used to determine the growth and nutritional status respectively.

Results

The nature of distance curves and percentile curves of the body measurements showed a high rate of increase in 10–11 years of age group corresponding to an earlier adolescent growth spurt than average Indian girls. The adolescent girls in the current study were found to be significantly (p<0.0001) taller than Indian girls and heavier than both Indian and urban Bengali girls but slightly shorter than urban Bengali girls. They are significantly (p<0.0001) shorter and lighter than American girls, which also corresponded to 50th percentile curves. Age specific nutritional assessment shows different grades of malnutrition among them. Gomez’s classification indicates about 60 % to 70 % adolescent girls show either moderate to mild malnutrition during their growth period. Both the indices of Waterlow’s classification show least percentage of least malnutrition among the girls.

Conclusion

The growth pattern and nutritional status observed among adolescent girls in peri-urban situation show heterogeneity with respect to some anthropometric traits and in conformity with the growth pattern and nutritional status of urban girls.