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Year : 1999  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-54

Nutritional status of pavement dweller children of Calcutta City.

Department of Community Medicine, Medical College, Calcutta

Correspondence Address:
S K Ray
Department of Community Medicine, Medical College, Calcutta

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 11243089

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Pavement dwelling is likely to aggravate malnutrition among its residents due to extreme poverty, lack of dwelling and access to food and their exposure to polluted environment. Paucity of information about nutritional status of street children compared to that among urban slum dwellers, squatters or rural/tribal population is quite evident. The present study revealed the magnitude of Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) and few associated factors among a sample of 435 underfives belonging to pavement dweller families and selected randomly from clusters of such families, from each of the five geographical sectors of Calcutta city. Overall prevalence of PEM was found almost similar (about 70%) to that among other 'urban poor' children viz. slum dwellers etc., but about 16% of them were found severely undernourished (Grade III & V of IAP classification of PEM). About 35% and 70% of street dweller children had wasting and stunting respectively. Severe PEM (Grade III & IV) was more prevalent among 12-23 months old, girl child, those belonged to illiterate parents and housewife mothers rather than wage earners. It also did increase with increase of birth rate of decrease of birth interval.

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