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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 118-122

Comparison of nutritional status of rural and urban school students receiving midday meals in schools of Bengaluru, India: A cross sectional study


Department of Community Medicine, M S Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. C N Shalini
Department of Community Medicine, M S Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.132309

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Background: The objective of the study was to assess the impact of the mid day meal program by assessing the nutritional status of school students aged 5-15 years receiving midday meals in rural schools and compare them with those in urban schools in Bengaluru, India. Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study involved a sample of 4378 students from government and aided schools. Weight and height were measured and compared with ''means'' and ''percentiles'' of expected standards as endorsed by the Indian Association of Pediatrics. Regression coefficients were also estimated to assess the rate of growth. Results: In all age groups and in both sexes, the observed mean weight and height were below the expected standards. The study findings showed that 13.8% and 13.1% of the studied students were underweight and stunted, respectively (below the third percentile for weight and height for age). A higher proportion of rural students were below the third percentile for both weight and height compared with urban students (weight: 16.3% and 11.5%; height: 17.0% and 10.0%; P < 0.05 for both weight and height). Only 2.4% and 3.1% were above 97 th percentile for weight and height. The rate of growth of height for weight showed a declining trend with increasing age in all the groups. Discussion: The authors believe that the magnitude of the burden of undernourished students as seen in this study would have been much greater in the absence of the midday meal program. Conclusion: Greater involvement of the private sector to assist the government would help augment nutrition in children and indirectly impact school performance, attendance and literacy.






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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow