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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 88-93
Nutritional status of preschool children in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and food insecurity, food groups, and nutrient consumption among population

1 National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (ICMR), Bengaluru, India
2 Regional Medical Research Centre (ICMR), Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sathya P Manimunda
National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (ICMR), Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_249_15

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Background: Childhood undernutrition is a public health concern in India. But on such a serious issue, there are no data available from the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar (A and N) Islands. Objectives: Present study was designed to know the prevalence of food insecurity, to estimate food group and nutrient intake among the community, and undernutrition and clinical signs of micronutrient deficiency among the preschool children of A and N islands. Materials and Methods: Multistage random sampling was followed to select the households containing children aged 6-59 months. In the selected households' sociodemographic particulars, Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), among preschoolers the weight and height were recorded along with the documentation of clinical signs of micronutrient deficiency, morbidities suffered over previous fortnight, and measurement of hemoglobin. Diet survey was carried out in every fourth household. Results: A total of 1259 preschoolers residing in 1082 households were examined, HFIAS was measured in 710 households in Andaman group of islands and diet survey was conducted in 290 households. The prevalence of undernutrition was around 27%, stunting was 36%, and anemia was around 81%. Undernutrition and anemia prevalence were significantly low among Nicobarese children. After adjusting for all the determinants, tribal in domicile had favorable outcome [odds ratio (OR): 0.28 (0.18, 0.43)], while below poverty line family had adverse outcome on undernutrition [OR: 1.72 (1.20, 2.46)]. Conclusion: Though the prevalence of undernutrition is relatively low in the islands, but high prevalence of anemia needs to be addressed. Nicobarese children fare better in almost all indicators of nutritional well-being except for stunting.

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