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Natl J Med Res. 2012; 2(2): 188-190

Vitamin A Deficiency Among School Children of Bareilly: Crucial Role of Nutrition Education

Khan Swati, Mahmood Syed Esam.

Objectives: To find out the prevalence of VAD among urban school children of District Bareilly, to identify the associated biosocial factors and to suggest the suitable measures to prevent xerophthalmia among them.
Methods: Six month cross sectional study was conducted among school going children in 2 purposively selected schools in an urban area of Bareilly District. A structured proforma was used to collect the information. Chi- square test was used to analyze data.
Results: Of the 800 children examined, the overall prevalence of VAD was found to be 6.37%. The prevalence of VAD was highest in 11-12 years of age group children and lowest in the 3-5 years age group (P-value >.05). The prevalence of VAD was slightly higher among boys as compared to girls (P-value >.05). The prevalence of VAD was significantly higher among the children belonging to lower socioeconomic class as compared to those belonging to upper and middle socioeconomic class (P-value >.05). Nearly 48.5% of children were found to be underweight while 12.25% were overweight. Nearly a quarter of children were found to be anemic.
Conclusion: Nutrition education regarding regular intake of plant foods rich in carotene such as green leafy vegetables, yellow fruits, carrots and animal foods containing retinol like fish liver oil, fish, liver, egg, meat, milk, butter, cheese, and use of fortified food like vanaspati, margarine, dried skimmed milk should be strengthened.

Key words: Vitamin A deficiency, urban slum, school children

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