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Indian Journal of Clinical Anatomy and Physiology


Assessment of nutritional status in children of an orphanage


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Author Details: Haleemath Soudhabi KS, Bhima Bhat, Sayed Anees, Shobith Bangera

Volume : 4

Issue : 2

Online ISSN : 2394-2126

Print ISSN : 2394-2118

Article First Page : 156

Article End Page : 159


Abstract

Introduction: Children of orphanages are more prone to malnutrition compared to children staying at home with their parents. Four out of ten malnourished children in the world live in India. Malnutrition and anemia are the most widespread nutrition related public health problems in developing countries, yet only little data is available on its prevalence in children of orphanages.

Objectives

1.        To assess nutritional status among children of an orphanage by anthropometry

2.        To diagnose signs of nutritional deficiency among the study group by clinical assessment.

Materials and Method: This cross sectional study was conducted in an orphanage in Kasaragod. Data was collected from 100 students of the age group 5 to16 years. Weight and height was measured. BMI was calculated. Nutritional status was assessed and categorized using BMI chart. Nutritional deficiency assessment was done by clinical examination of hair, nail, oral cavity and skin.
Results: The data was analyzed using appropriate method. It was found that 23% of students were in underweight category (<5th percentile). 95% of students had nutritional deficiency, among those 60% had pallor 34% had nail changes (platynychia and koilonychia) and 31% had angular stomatitis suggestive of iron deficiency anemia.
Conclusion: In this study we observed that children residing in orphanage were having healthy weight but nutritional deficiency signs were present. The findings highlight the need for health education regarding balanced diet and more attention may be required from medical practitioners.

Keywords:
Iron deficiency anemia, Malnutrition, Orphanage, Underweight