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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 203-208

Are household food security, nutrient adequacy, and childhood nutrition clustered together? A cross-sectional study in Bankura, West Bengal

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, JG Institute of Medical Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, B.S. Medical College, Bankura, West Bengal, India
4 Professor and HOD, Department of Community Medicine, B.S. Medical College, Bankura, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dipta Kanti Mukhopadhyay
Lokepur, Near N.C.C. Office, Bankura - 722 102, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_357_18

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Background: Research on different measures of food security and their interrelation in order to identify vulnerable households are scarce in India. Objectives: The objective was to assess household food security (HHFS), nutrient adequacy, dietary diversity, and nutritional status of under-five children along with their interrelation in the slums of Bankura Municipality, West Bengal. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted during 2016–2017 among 240 households using two-stage 30-cluster random sampling. Information regarding socioeconomic characteristics, availability, and utilization of different poverty alleviation schemes was collected. HHFS was assessed by a validated HHFS scale-short form in Bengali and nutrient adequacy with 24-h recall method. The eldest under-five child in the family was measured for anthropometry using standard procedure and for dietary diversity with the Individual Dietary Diversity Score. Results: Overall, 74 (29.1%) households had “food security,” whereas 102 (44.3%) and 64 (26.6%) had, respectively, low and very low food security. Among 190 under-five children, 63 (35.3%) had single and 50 (25.5%) had multiple anthropometric failures. Overall, 89 (36.1%) households were deficient for both energy and protein and 111 (47.6%) had deficiency of either of these two. Indicators on the utilization of different poverty alleviation schemes were associated with low/very low food security. A “Composite Index of Food Scarcity” comprising of HHFS, nutrient adequacy, and dietary diversity was proposed which was found to have dose–response relationship with grades of anthropometric failure of under-five children. Conclusions: An index comprising of three indicators might help identify the vulnerable households in relation to food security more effectively than a single indicator.

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