A comparative study on gender disparity in nutritional status in children under five years in rural and urban communities of Assam, India

Published

2014-12-31

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Section

Short Article

Authors

  • Farha Yesmin
  • Rupali Baruah

Abstract

Introduction: Under nutrition is a serious public health problem among children in the developing countries. Though the importance of girl child has been stressed time and again, yet a wide level of disparity still exists, whether implicit or explicit, in nutrition and child care both in the rural and urban areas.  Different underlying factors are responsible for this disparity. Rationale: Girls face discrimination from the moment she is born. The UNICEF intergenerational cycle of malnutrition stresses on the fact that the problem of malnutrition spans generation and is a vicious cycle. Though the importance of girl child has been stressed time and again, yet a wide level of disparity still exists. Therefore this study is conducted to document the gender disparity in nutritional status and compare rural and urban differences. Objective: 1.To compare the gender disparity in nutritional status in children aged 0-5 years in rural and urban areas.2.To assess the different socio-demographic factors influencing the gender disparity. Materials and Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted in Kamrup Rural and Kamrup Urban using a pre-tested schedule from August 2013-July 2014.A total of 400 children were examined and their mother’s interviewed. Data was entered into MS-Excel spread sheets for analysis. The statistical analyses were done using SPSS version 16 software. Percentages and Chi square tests were used to analyze epidemiological variables. Results: The prevalence of underweight, stunting and wasting in rural area was 31%, 29%, 15.5% respectively whereas in urban it was 39.5%, 36% and 24.5% respectively. In rural area, male child were 32% underweight, 28% stunted and 19% wasted compared to female who were 30% underweight, 30% stunted and 12% wasted. In urban area 48% of female child were underweight, 39% stunted and 27% wasted compared to 31%, 33% and 22% in male child respectively. A significant higher proportion of underweight was found in girls belonging to Muslim religion, OBC category, nuclear family, illiterate unemployed mother and low income. Conclusion: The girl child suffers from malnutrition more in the urban areas than rural area

How to Cite

1.
Yesmin F, Baruah R. A comparative study on gender disparity in nutritional status in children under five years in rural and urban communities of Assam, India. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2014 Dec. 31 [cited 2022 Oct. 3];26(Supp 2):353-8. Available from: https://www.iapsmupuk.org/journal/index.php/IJCH/article/view/519

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