Effects of malnutrition on child development: Evidence from a backward district of India

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health


Background: In India, under-nutrition among the poor children imposes greater burden in rural areas. Particularly rural children are more vulnerable to malnutrition because they receive foods having low nutritional values along with discriminatory distribution of food within the household. Also in early childhood due to lack of appropriate care they suffer from recurrent infections and multiple diseases either causing delayed development or fatal effect. The demographic and socio-economic factors influence the nutritional status and neuro-development of the vulnerable children. Methods: The aim of present study is to assess the nutritional status of developmentally challenged children of less than five years through Z-scores of height-for-age, weight-for-height and weight-for-age by demographic characteristics in a backward district of the state of West Bengal, India. Indices of nutritional status are calculated based on the WHO Child Growth Standards. Result & conclusion: It has been observed that there are gender differences and age group variations in the nutritional status of children who are developmentally challenged. Under-nutrition is a major problem with vulnerable children in rural area who suffer from developmental delay.

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