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Social and Behavioral Determinants of Underweight among the Bengalee Muslim Preschool Children of Bankura District, West Bengal, India

Sk Anamul Hoque, Md. Anisujjaman, Sumana Das and Sadaruddin Biswas


Published: 2024/03/01


Underweight is a major health problem among rural preschool children in developing countries including India. Despite the rapid economic growth of the nation, undernutrition is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality among under-five children even after 75 years of our independence. The present study examines the prevalence of malnutrition in form of underweight and to explore the socio-behavioral determinants of underweight status among the rural Bengalee Muslim preschool children of Bankura district, West Bengal. The present cross-sectional study was conducted among preschool children aged 12 to 59 months in villages of Kotulpur Community Development Block of Bankura district. A total of 800 preschool children (400 boys and 400 girls) were investigated. Age and sex specific prevalence of underweight was determined through Z-score values (WHO, 2006) of weight of the studied children. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to explore the socio-behavioral determinants of underweight status among the studied preschool children. The overall prevalence of malnutrition in terms of underweight was 36.0 % among the studied preschool children. It was also revealed that poor socio-economic conditions, indexed by deficient household amenities such as house types, number of living rooms, bathroom facility, latrine facility and having a separate kitchen, are related to the children’s nutritional status. Such socio-economic conditions are proxy indicators of undernutrition status among growing preschool children in the study area. Keywords: Underweight, Socio-behavioral determinants, Muslim, Preschool, Bankura, West Bengal

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