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Prevalence of Undernutrition and Gender Disparities among Kukna and Santal Tribal Population Groups of India


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1 Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, India
     

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Indian tribal communities by and large are socially and economically disadvantaged groups experiencing prolonged undernutrition due to their poor socioeconomic status and non-affordability of basic healthcare facilities. Increasing modernisation and urbanisation in tribal areas lead to disruption in their usual lifestyle and food habits. Nutritional deprivation among females is a major concern as biasness on the basis of gender is evident in rural and urban populations. The present study highlights gender disparity in the light of nutritional anaemia and malnutrition. Cross-sectional studies among adolescent Kuknas (n=100) from Gujarat and adult Santals (n=101) from Jharkhand were conducted. Demographic profile, anthropometric measurements and haemoglobin levels were taken for a total of 201 individuals. Adult females (aged 18-60 years) were observed to be highly undernourished (35.7%) in comparison to males (17.8%). However, adolescents (aged 14-19 years) of Kukna tribe had high prevalence of undernutrition in males (60%) relative to females (38%). Higher proportion of females (Kukna-84%, Santal-89.3%) were observed to be anaemic, whereas 82.2% Santal males and 56% Kukna adolescent males were recorded to be anaemic. However, on the basis of mid upper arm circumference classification, higher percentage of females (Kukna-80% and Santal-42.9%) were undernourished than males. The findings of the present study show gender disparity with respect to undernutrition (MUAC) and nutritional anaemia in studied groups of adult Santals as well as adolescent Kuknas from Jharkhand and Gujarat, respectively. Further studies are required among tribal and rural groups for better understanding of nutritional status along with cross-cultural diversity across Indian populations.

Keywords

Undernutrition, Anaemia, Mid-Upper Arm Circumference, Santal, Kukna, Tribes.
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  • Prevalence of Undernutrition and Gender Disparities among Kukna and Santal Tribal Population Groups of India

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Authors

N. Mahajan
Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, India
A. Kumari
Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, India
G. K. Kshatriya
Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi, India

Abstract


Indian tribal communities by and large are socially and economically disadvantaged groups experiencing prolonged undernutrition due to their poor socioeconomic status and non-affordability of basic healthcare facilities. Increasing modernisation and urbanisation in tribal areas lead to disruption in their usual lifestyle and food habits. Nutritional deprivation among females is a major concern as biasness on the basis of gender is evident in rural and urban populations. The present study highlights gender disparity in the light of nutritional anaemia and malnutrition. Cross-sectional studies among adolescent Kuknas (n=100) from Gujarat and adult Santals (n=101) from Jharkhand were conducted. Demographic profile, anthropometric measurements and haemoglobin levels were taken for a total of 201 individuals. Adult females (aged 18-60 years) were observed to be highly undernourished (35.7%) in comparison to males (17.8%). However, adolescents (aged 14-19 years) of Kukna tribe had high prevalence of undernutrition in males (60%) relative to females (38%). Higher proportion of females (Kukna-84%, Santal-89.3%) were observed to be anaemic, whereas 82.2% Santal males and 56% Kukna adolescent males were recorded to be anaemic. However, on the basis of mid upper arm circumference classification, higher percentage of females (Kukna-80% and Santal-42.9%) were undernourished than males. The findings of the present study show gender disparity with respect to undernutrition (MUAC) and nutritional anaemia in studied groups of adult Santals as well as adolescent Kuknas from Jharkhand and Gujarat, respectively. Further studies are required among tribal and rural groups for better understanding of nutritional status along with cross-cultural diversity across Indian populations.

Keywords


Undernutrition, Anaemia, Mid-Upper Arm Circumference, Santal, Kukna, Tribes.

References