Anthropometric Variables and Nutritional Status of Adolescent School Girls in a Food Insecure Rural Area of Bangladesh

  • Mohammad Azizur Rahman Research Fellow, Faculty of Post Graduate Medicine and Research, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1/2 Block-B, Green Road, Pardigulia, Tangail-1900, Bangladesh.
Keywords: Anthropometry - Variable - Nutritional status - Adolescent.


IntroductionThis study estimated the anthropometric variables and nutritional status of rural adolescent school girls of food insecure Bera subdistrict of Pabna district in Bangladesh.MethodsThe cross sectional study was carried out in rural adolescent school girls of 21 governments approved high schools of Bera sudistrict of Pabna district, Bangladesh. Anthropometric and socio-demographic information from 2,196 adolescent girls were collected during 2011-2012 academic session. Height and weight were measured using standard procedure and the body mass index (BMI) was calculated. BMI was compared to the 2007 WHO growth reference. Height- for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ) and BMI-for-age (BMIZ) were used to evaluate stunting, underweight and thinness respectively, based on the National Centre of Heath Statistics (NCHS) < - 2 Z score values. Classification of severity of malnutrition was done based on WHO recommendation. Mean BMI-for-age were less than those of 2007 WHO growth reference for girls at all ages.ResultsThe overall rate of stunting, underweight and thinness was 33.13%, 28.06% and 17.92% respectively. Based on WHO classification of severity of malnutrition, the overall prevalence of stunting was high (30-39%), whereas those of underweight 20-29% was high.ConclusionsThis study concludes that poor anthropometric variables and nutritional status among the adolescents indicated a major public health problem in food insecure rural areas of Bangladesh. An intensive and comprehensive approach is required to improve the nutritional status of rural adolescent girls of Bangladesh. 


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