Sahar Hooshmand

, My Health Realm, Netherlands
Title : Dietary Patterns In Relation To Nutritional Stunting Among School Children. A Comparison Study Between Iran And India


Malnutrition is a widespread problem in developing countries. The high prevalence of stunting reflects the high frequency of under nutrition observed in such population. Information in prevalence of nutritional stunting of primary school children are not enough in Iran and India. The present study, made to assess prevalence of stunting in relation to dietary pattern among urban school children from middle and low socioeconomic status.

Height and weight of 4570 including 2234 Iranian (1016 boys, 1218girls) and 2336 Indian (1240 boys, 1096 girls), aged 6-9 years, attending primary schools. Anthropometric measurements have done for all children. The food frequency questionnaire were designed and completed by interview with mother of the children. The World Health Organization‘s (WHO) anthropometric indices height-for-age (HA) were used to assess the children's height status.

Stunting occurred in 1.5% of Indian and 5.4% of Iranian children. Height for Age Z-score (HAZ) were -0.163±1.219 for boys and -0.515±3.141 for girls in Iran and -0.028±0.770 and -0.017±0.993 for girls in India. Only 1.5% Indian children and 5.4% Iranian children had height for age z-scores below -2SD(?2=11.553, p=0.000 and ?2=24.034, p=0.000). Total food group scores increased with better height status of the children. Height for age z-scores were positively associated with mean scores for pulses in both countries and dairy products, beverages and fats.

The percentage of stunted children was more in Iran than in India. In both countries, severely and moderately stunted children had lower total mean scores than those who had normal and above average height.