|Greater Reduction in Stunting Than Underweight and Wasting in Indian Under-Five Children: A Comparison of Growth Indicators from 4 National Family Health Surveys|
||Khadilkar Anuradha, Gondhalekar Ketan, Khadilkar Vaman, Ekbote Veena
||Indian Journal of Pediatrics, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12098-022-04143-x
Children under five
To assess change in nutritional status in Indian under-five children from four rounds of national surveys (round 1 to 4).
National Family Health Survey data from 4 rounds (1992–2016) were analyzed. Height and weight for age (HAZ, WAZ), and weight for height (WHZ) z scores were calculated. Children under?-2 z score were classified as malnourished by HAZ, WAZ and WHZ.
A greater reduction in stunting (from 54 to 38%, p?0.05) than in underweight (from 44 to 34%, p?0.05) and wasting (from 19 to 20%, p?>?0.1) status over the period of 4 NFHS rounds was observed from 1992 to 2016. In line with this, combination of improved height for age (-2.1?±?1.8 to?-1.5?±?1.7) but relatively less improved weight for age (-1.8?±?1.4 to?-1.5?±?1.2), the change in wasting status was either nil or meagre (-0.8?±?1.4 to?-0.9?±?1.4), (p?0.05 for all). The percentage of children malnourished by all 3 indicators together reduced from 9 to 6% (p?0.05). At the 4th NFHS round, higher percentage of boys (8%) than girls (6%) and rural (7%) than urban (5%) children were malnourished by all 3 indicators (p?0.05).
Greater reduction in stunting than underweight and wasting was observed over the period of 4 rounds. There is a need for more focused efforts to combat malnutrition in rural children and boys.