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Background Malnutrition in children and adolescents is a global problem. In developing nations of Africa and Southeast Asia, the prevalence of undernutrition in children is very high. There is scanty data 'With respect to the nutritional status of school going children and adolescents, especially from suburban and rural areas in India.
Objective A study was undertaken among boys (n = 174) and girls (n = 128) aged 9 13 years in a suburban area of Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal in India to understand age and sex variation of nutritional status of the subjects.
Methods A crosssectional study among the schoolgoing children and adolescent aged 9 13 years was done during JuneSeptember 2009 in Haldia.
Results Age and sex variation of anthropometric characteristics (body mass index or BMI and conicity index or CI) revealed that remarkable sections of both the sexes were suffering from underweight (8.30%), stunting (14.60%) and wasting (2.80%). Significant sex differences were observed in cases of mean CI (P=O.OO1), weightforage zscore (P = 0.0001) and weight-for-height ,-score (P 0.0001).
Discussion Besides notable prevalence of under nutrition in both sexes, situation of the girls is worse (underweight - 11.70% and stunting - 21.10%) compared to the boys. This is most evident among the subjects of both sexes aged 11 and 12 years.
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