Prevalence of undernutrition in Nepalese children

Arijit Ghosh, Prakash Adhikari, Sutanu Dutta Chowdhury, Tusharkanti Ghosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Assessment of nutritional status of children is a very good indicator of socio-economic growth of a community. Objective: The study was carried out to determine the prevalence of undernutrition among the Nepalese children of Kathmandu Valley, the capital of Nepal. Methods: Height and weight of 1988 children aged 6-10 years were measured from randomly selected schools. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as weight/height2. Nutritional status was assessed from height-for-age, weight-for-age and BMI-for-age growth curves using WHO reference. Prevalence of undernutrition was determined by Z-scores of height-for-age and weight-for-age using the WHO reference data. Results: Growth curves of height-for-age and weight-for-age was found between 3rd and 15th percentile values, but that of BMI-for-age was placed above the 25th percentile values of WHO reference. Nepalese children of the present study are taller and heavier than children of the Terai region of Nepal. The prevalence of stunting and underweight (below -2 Z-score) was similar in both boys (45.57% stunting and 52.46% underweight) and girls (43.42% stunting and 46.09% underweight). Conclusions: The present study reveals that a high prevalence of undernutrition exists in Nepalese children, although the magnitude of undernutrition is similar in both boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Nutritional status
  • Stunting
  • Underweight
  • WHO growth standard 2007


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