Food intake and energy protein adequacy of children from an urban slum in mysore, India - a qualitative analysis

Malays J Nutr. 2008 Sep;14(2):163-72. Epub 2008 Sep 15.


The objective of the investigation was to analyse energy protein adequacy of the diets of Indian children residing in an urban slum. The subjects numbering 271 between the ages of 4-14 years resided in a slum in Mysore city in South India. Nutritional status of children and mothers were determined by standard procedures. Background information was obtained using questionnaire method. Dietary intake data was collected using the 24-hour recall method and analysed for adequacy of food intake, energy protein ratio of diet, sources of protein in diet and associated factors. Results indicate that intake of cereals and pulses is inadequate in younger children but improves with age. Intake of other vegetables is higher than the recommended levels, but that of green leafy vegetables is extremely low. Consumption of fats, oils and milk is very low while protein is derived from plant sources for the majority of the children. Only 22% of children enjoyed a diet adequate in protein and calories. Protein calorie adequacy is influenced by age and gender of children and significantly by literacy or economic status of mothers. Mother's nutritional status influenced protein energy adequacy of diets significantly. Thus, intervention efforts should not only aim at improving the socio-economic conditions of slum dwellers in general, but should also address nutritional needs of mothers and children.