The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 93–98 | Cite as

Adolescent nutrition in a rural community in Bangladesh

  • A. K. M. Shahabuddin
  • Khurshid Talukder
  • MQ-K Talukder
  • MQ Hassan
  • Andrew Seal
  • Quddusur Rahman
  • Abdul Mannan
  • Andrew Tomkins
  • Anthony Costello
Original Article

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the nutritional status of adolescent boys and girls in a rural community in Bangladesh. Between December 1996 and January 1997, a cross-sectional survey was carried out in 803 households, each containing at least one adolescent, sampled consecutively from four purposely-selected villages in Rupganj Thana, Narayanganj district. Initially, the guardians of 1483 healthy and unmarried 10–17 year old adolescents (51% boys and 49% giris) were interviewed about family structure and socio-economic status. Out of these children, 906 (47% boys and 53% girls) from 597 households were weighed, had their height and MUAC measured and were clinically examined. Blood was then collected from 861 adolescents for haemoglobin estimation. The median monthly income per person in these 597 families was approximately Taka 554 (US $12). Twenty seven per cent of the household heads were labourers, 21% were solvent farmers, 14% ran small scale businesses and 6% were unemployed. Sixty seven per cent of adolescents were thin (defined as BMI < 5th centile of WHO recommended reference) with 75% boys and 59% girls being affected. The percentage of thin adolescents fell from 95% at age 10 years to 12 % at age 17 years. The prevalence of stunting (height for age < 3rd centile NCHS/WHO) was 48% for both boys and girls and rose from 34% at age 10 to 65% at age 17. On clinical examination angular stomatitis was present in 46%, 27% nad glossitis, 38% had pallor, 11% ha’d dental caries, 3.2% had an conspicuously enlarged thyroid and 2.1% had eye changes of vitamin A deficiency. According to INACG (International Nutritional Anaemia Consultative Group, 1985) cut-off values, 94% of the boys and 98% of the girls were anaemic. We conclude that rural Bangladesh adolescents suffer from high rates of malnutrition and almost universal anaemia. Nutritional interventions to target this population are urgently required.

Key words

Adolescence Nutrition Stunting Glossitis 

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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. K. M. Shahabuddin
    • 1
  • Khurshid Talukder
    • 1
  • MQ-K Talukder
    • 1
  • MQ Hassan
    • 1
  • Andrew Seal
    • 2
  • Quddusur Rahman
    • 1
  • Abdul Mannan
    • 1
  • Andrew Tomkins
    • 2
  • Anthony Costello
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Child and Mother Health MatuailDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Centre for International Child HealthInstitute of Child HealthLondonUK

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