Nutrition in Tribal Children of Yercaud Region, Tamil Nadu

Type Journal Article - Indian Journal of Nutrition
Title Nutrition in Tribal Children of Yercaud Region, Tamil Nadu
Volume 3
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 1-6
Nutritional status of the child is dependent on several factors. Many tribal communities show high levels of undernutrition. This study was conducted to
assess feeding practices of mothers and nutritional status of children in the tribal communities of Yercaud region, Tamil Nadu. This was an observational
cross-sectional study. Purposive sampling was done and 110 respondents having children aged 12-23 months were chosen for the study. A semi-structured
interview schedule was used for data collection. Data on feeding practices was obtained from mothers. Height and weight of their children was measured.
Feeding practices were assessed based on the eight core indicators given by UNICEF in the IYCF policy. Z scores for height for age, weight for age, and
weight for height were calculated and compared against WHO standards. Prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months
and continued breastfeeding at 12 months was 70, 27.3 and 82.7 percent respectively. Complementary feeding was initiated in the sixth month only in 25.5
per cent of the children. Eighty percent of children achieved dietary diversity whereas only 20 and 17.3 percent of children achieved minimum meal frequency
and minimum acceptable diet. Iron supplements were consumed by 24.5 percent of the children. The prevalence of underweight, stunting and wasting in
children was 46.4, 71.8 and 23.6 percent respectively. There are gaps between feeding practices advocated in the IYCF policy to what is followed in this tribal
community. The prevalence of stunting in children is alarmingly high. There is an urgent need to pay attention to the nutritional status of children in order to
avoid deleterious consequences on generations together

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