Main content area

BMI, body fat and waist-to-height ratio of stunted v. non-stunted Indian children: a case–control study

Savanur, Mitravinda S, Ghugre, Padmini S
Public health nutrition 2016 v.19 no.8 pp. 1389-1396
adolescence, birth weight, body mass index, breast feeding, case-control studies, childhood, children, compensatory growth, complementary foods, fat body, income, infant feeding, obesity, risk, socioeconomics, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, India
To compare the BMI, body fat and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) of stunted and non-stunted children following different growth trajectories from low socio-economic strata in Mumbai, India. Cross-sectional, case–control study. Weight, height, skinfold thicknesses and waist circumference were measured. Information regarding the duration of breast-feeding, age at initiation of complementary feeding and income was obtained. Birth weight was obtained from records. BMI, body fat, WHtR and change in weight sd were calculated. Children who were beneficiaries of anganwadis, Mumbai city, India. Three hundred and thirty children aged 2–4 years were selected in each of the stunted and non-stunted groups after matching for age and sex. After adjusting for birth weight, change in weight sd, duration of breast-feeding, age at complementary feeding initiation and income, stunted children had significantly higher body fat, WHtR and BMI than the non-stunted (P<0·01). The stunted and non-stunted children were classified based on their change in weight sd. Stunted children with no change in weight sd had higher mean body fat, BMI (P<0·01) and WHtR (P<0·05) than their non-stunted counterparts. In the catch-up growth group, stunted children had higher BMI and WHtR than the non-stunted (both P<0·001). In the catch-down growth group, stunted children had higher BMI than the non-stunted (P<0·001). Stunting was seen to increase the tendency of conserving body fat in young children. Such a tendency, if continued during later childhood and adolescence, can increase the risk of obesity and non-communicable diseases.