Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Prevalence of Under Nutrition among Adult Sabars of Bankura District, West Bengal, India
Nutritional status is an important index of economic growth and development. The status of nutrition of a given population has positively or negatively influenced nation’s economic growth. Our study was designed to find out the relationship between socio-demographic characteristics and nutritional status among adult Sabars. The present cross-sectional study was conducted at six villages under Ranibandh block of Bankura District, West Bengal. A total 226 adults (males = 111 and females = 115) Sabars, aged above 18 years in these village were included in the study. The mean (SD) values of age, family members, family income per month, and per-capita income were 37.32 (16.62) years, 4.63 (1.85) members, 2725.2 (1424.3) Rupees, 691.58 (545.32) Rupees, respectively. The prevalence of illiteracy was 45.0% and 82.6%, respectively among males and females. There was a statistically significant (Chi-square = 39.67, p < 0.001) difference between two sexes. Among males more than 65.8% were daily wage laborers. Among females collection of products was the main occupation (28.7%). The frequency of use of drinking water from tube well, tap and well were 79.2%, 11.1% and 4.4%, respectively. The mean (SD) height, weight, mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and (body mass index (BMI) of the subjects were 159.88 (5.93) cm, 49.6 (7.42) kg, 28.38 (7.83) cm and 19.4 (2.59) kg/m2, respectively, among males. The mean (SD) height, weight, MUAC and BMI among females were 1148.9 (5.04) cm, 40.1 (5.88) kg, 22.9 (2.34) cm and 18.0 (2.30) kg/m2, respectively. All mean values were higher among men. The rates of under nutrition were higher (60.0%) among the illiterate group than the literate group (37.0%) based on BMI. Likewise, based on MUAC, the rates of under nutrition were higher (41.4%) among illiterates compared to literates. The prevalence of under nutrition based on BMI and MUAC was high according to the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline, indicating critical nutritional situation. To reduce the nutritional stress among this ethnic group, immediate appropriate nutritional intervention programes should be initiated. Serious efforts are needed to increase their educational status and per-capita income.