Original Article National Journal of Medical and Dental Research, July-September 2014: Volume-2, Issue-4, Page 27-30

Anthropometric Assessment of Nutritional Status of
Adolescent Girls of Indore City

Sunita SolankiA, Priti TanejaB, Rajni SoniC
AAssistant Professor, Dept of Physiology, MGM Medical College, Indore
BRetired Professor and Head, Dept of Physiology, MGM Medical College, Indore
CProfessor and Head, Dept of Physiology, MGM Medical College, Indore
Abstract:

Manuscript Reference
Number: Njmdr_2311_14

Adolescence is a significant period of human growth and maturation. Balanced
diet and favourable environment are important factors which influence growth
and nutrition of adolescents. Nutritional status can be assessed indirectly by
anthropometric measurements. This was a cross sectional study carried out on 430
school girls of age 11- 18 years of Indore City. The girls were selected randomly. .
Data on socio-demographic variables and anthropometry were collected using a self
designed questionnaire. Data analysis was done using Microsoft Excel. 26.27 % of the
girls were found to be thin and 23.48 % were stunted. The findings are comparable
to other studies carried out on adolescent girls in different parts of India. Thus,
adolescence being an important part of human development needs special attention.
Key words: Anthropometry, nutritional assessment, BMI, stunting, thinness

Introduction:

with increased risks of adverse reproductive
outcomes.

World Health Organization has defined
‘adolescence’ as the period between 10
and 19 years. Adolescence is a significant
period of human growth and maturation
[1]. Currently it is estimated that there
are about 69.7 million adolescent girls
constituting about 7% of the population
[2].

Date of submission: 19 June 2014
Date of Editorial approval: 24 June 2014
Date of Peer review approval: 9 July 2014
Date of Publication: 30 September 2014
Conflict of Interest: Nil; Source of support: Nil
Name and addresses of corresponding author:
Dr. Sunita Solanki
Assistant Professor
Department of Physiology
MGM Medical College
Indore (MP) – 452001
Mobile No. 9424052544
Email

dr.sunita.solanki@gmail.com

Adolescence is also a period of increased
nutritional requirements due to rapid
accretion of new tissue and other
widespread developmental changes. For
example, more than 20 % of total growth
in stature and up to 50% of adult bone
mass is achieved during adolescence.
However, inadequate diet and unfavorable
environments in developing countries may
adversely influence growth and nutrition of
adolescents. Undernutrition in these girls
is associated with reduced lean mass, lack
of muscular strength and decreased work
capacity. In adolescent girls, short stature
that persists into adulthood is associated

27

Anthropometric measurements are valuable
indicators of nutritional status. They allow
monitoring and evaluation of the changes in
growth and maturation during this period.
While adolescence is clearly an important
period in human development, it has often
failed to receive the attention given to
earlier periods in childhood with regard to
health related uses of and interpretations
of anthropometry [1]. Keeping these issues
in mind, the present study was planned to
anthropometrically assess the nutritional
status of adolescent girls of Indore City.

Material and methods:
The present study was cross sectional study
carried out in 5 schools of Indore City,
Madhya Pradesh. 430 girls of age 11 -18
years were selected randomly. All the girls
whose parents gave consent for this study
were included. Data on socio-demographic

National Journal of Medical and Dental Research, July-September 2014: Volume-2, Issue-4, Page 27-30

Table 1: Socioeconomic and demographic profile

variables and anthropometry were collected using a self
designed questionnaire.

Characteristics
Age ( in years)
11+
12+
13+
14+
15+
16+
17+
18+
Religion
Hindu
Muslim
Christian
Others
Type of family
Joint
Nuclear
Extended
Family size
3-5
6-8
9-11
>11
Family Occupation
Labourer
Business
Service
Agriculture
Others
Family Income/month (Rs)
<4000
4001– 8000
8001–12000
12001–20000
>20000

Anthropometric Measurements:
Height – a vertical measuring scale fixed on a wall was
used. Height was measured to an accuracy of 0.1 cm. After
removing the shoes, subject was asked to stand upright on
flat floor, looking straight and with feet parallel and with
heels, buttocks, shoulder and back of the head touching the
wall. Subjects with height for age < 3rd percentile of the
NCHS/WHO reference data were considered as stunted.
Weight – is sensitive index of nutritional status. It was
measured by using a portable weighing machine from
Libra. Subjects were weighed to the nearest 0.5 Kg.
Subjects were asked to stand straight and without shoes.
Body mass index (Quetlet’s Index) - is defined as the
weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height
in metres (kg/m2). The BMI index has the least correlation with body height and the highest correlation with independent measures of body fat. The prevalence of overweight and obesity is commonly assessed by using body
mass index (BMI). “BMI- for- Age: Girls, Age 2-20 years”
developed by the National Center for Health Statistics in
collaboration with the National Center for Chronic Disease
Prevention and Health Promotion (2000) was used as reference standard. BMI was plotted against the age in the
chart to determine the weight status by percentile group.
Subjects with ‘BMI for age’ < 5th percentile were considered as underweight or thin and those with ‘BMI for age’
> 85th percentile were considered to be at risk of being
overweight, while subjects with ‘BMI for age’ between 5th
and 85th percentile were categorized normal.

Percentage

13
54
64
56
97
84
48
12

3
13
15
13
23
20
11
3

104
13
10
3

94
3
2
1

150
258
22

35
60
5

214
164
39
12

50
38
9
3

114
88
69
10
137

26
20
16
2

246
106
32
37
9

57.3
24.7
7.4
8.6
2

Anthropometry:
The mean and Standard Deviation of weight and height
according to age are presented in Table 2. At all ages, the
mean height and weight of the adolescent girls were less
than the NCHS standards.
Table 2 : Age-wise height and weight

Statistical analysis– the data were analyzed using
Microsoft Excel.
Results:
Anthropometric information on 430 adolescent girls was
collected and analyzed. Socioeconomic and demographic
profile of the participants is presented in Table 1.94% of
the adolescent girls belonged to Hindu religion. Most of the
girls (60%) were from nuclear family. Family size of most
of the girls (50%) was small, 3 to 5 members. Most (26%)
of the heads of the family were laborers.

Number

Age (in Number

Mean

% NCHS

Mean

%NCHS

years)

Height

Standard

Weight

Standard

(cm)+

50 %ile

(Kg)+

50th %ile

of girls

th

Standard

Standard

Deviation

Deviation

11+

13

152+4.337

101.9

33+5.96

95.7

12+

53

147.1+8.56

91.7

36.71+8.24

95.21

13+

65

150.98+5.57

90.98

38.39+5.23

92.49

14+

57

146.31+5.55

85.01

31.55+5.63

92.05

15+

97

153.01+5.19

90.22

41.66+6.47

89.46

16+

84

154.66+6.39

91.36

45.36+8.25

91.36

17+

48

153.69+5.09

90.59

46.59+6.66

91.39

18+

12

157.66+5.06

94.36

42.44+9.26

86.24

Total

439

Prevalence of stunting (<3rd percentile height of NCHS
reference) was 23.48%. No clear age trend was observed
(Table 3).

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National Journal of Medical and Dental Research, July-September 2014: Volume-2, Issue-4, Page 27-30

Table 3 :
Prevalence of stunting

Age (In Years)

Total No.

Stunting

11+

13

1

10

12

54

8

14.6

13+

65

5

8

14+

57

7

11.9

15+

97

33

33.8

16+

84

25

29.2

17+

48

21

43.2

18+

12

1

8.3

Total

430

101

23.48

reproductive health of girls as it can lead to obstructed labor
during childbirth due to a small birth canal [8,9]. On the
other hand, thinness can result in poor pregnancy outcome
especially in terms of low birth weight and increased risk of
infant mortality [10]. Lack of access to sufficient food and
inequities in food allocation have been reported as the key
causes of malnutrition in poor households of India [10].

Percentage

Acknowledgements:

The mean ‘BMI for age’ is presented in Table 4. Overall
prevalence of thinness (5th percentile weight of NCHS
reference) was 26.27%. 71.8% were of normal weight.
Only 0.9% girls were at risk of overweight and 0.9% was
overweight.
Table 4 Mean ‘BMI for age’
Age (In Years)

<5th
percentile
(under
weight)

5th–85th
percentile
(normal
weight)

85th–95th
percentile
(at risk
of over
weight)

>95th
percentile
(over
weight)

11+

4

9

0

0

12

13

39

1

1

13+

20

44

0

1

14+

9

47

0

1

15+

35

61

1

0

16+

19

63

2

0

17+

7

40

0

1

18+

6

6

0

0

Total 430
%

113
26.27%

309
71.8%

4
0.9%

4
0.9%

The Principals and authorities of all the five schools are
thankfully acknowledged for their help for collection of
data. We also thank all the girls who participated in this
study.

References:
1. Physical status: The use and interpretation of
anthropometry. Technical Report Series. Geneva;
World Health Organisation; 1995. Report No.:854
2. K Venkaiah, K Damayanti, M U Nayak and K
Vijayaraghavan. Diet and nutritional status of rural
adolescents in India European Journal of Clinical
Nutrition (2002) 56, 1119-1125
3. Anita Malhotra and Santosh Jain Passi. Diet Quality and
nutritional status of rural adolescent girl beneficiaries
of ICDS in North India. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical
Nutrition. 2007; 16 (suppl I): 8 -16.

Discussion:
In the present study, 26.27 % of the girls were found to be
thin. The extent of thinness is lower than those reported
by Venkaiah et al 2002. 39.5% [2], A. Malhotra et al 2007
(30.6%) [3] and Medhi GK et al 41.3% [4]. The findings
were remarkably high among the adolescents of rural
Wardha reported by Deshmukh PR et al. 2006 (69.8%)
[5]. These findings are similar to another study carried on
adolescent girls in rural north India [6]. Stunting was found
in 23.48 % of the girls. These findings are comparable to
other studies carried on adolescent girls in different parts
of India [3,7].
Stunting has important implications for adolescent

4. Medhi GK, Barua A, Mahanta J. Growth and
Nutritional Status of School Age Children (6-14 Years)
of Tea Garden Worker of Assam. J Hum Ecol 2006;
19: 83-85.
5. P.R. Deshmukh, S.S. Gupta, M.S. Bharambe, A.R.
Dongre, C. Maliye, S. Kaur and B.S. Garg. Nutritional
status of adolescents in Rural Wadha. Indian J Pediatr
2006; 73 (2) : 139-141
6. Anand K, Kant S, Kapoor SK. Nutritional status of
adolescent school children in rural north India. Indian
Pediatr 2002; 39: 449-52.
7. Kapoor G, Aneja S. Nutritional disorders in adolescent
girls. Indian Pediatr 1992; 29: 969-73

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National Journal of Medical and Dental Research, July-September 2014: Volume-2, Issue-4, Page 27-30

8. Konje JC, Ladipo OA. Nutrition and obstructed labor.
Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 72 Suppl: S291-7.

10. Measham AR, Chattajee M. Wasting away – the crisis
of malnutrition in India, Washington DC: World Bank,
1999; 9-13

9. Osrin, D, Costello AM. Maternal nutrition and fetal
growth: practical issues in international health. Semin.
Neonatol 2000; 5: 209-19.

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