Stunting and its association with predictor variables among Tibetan adolescent girls of North India

In India, malnutrition is a major public health problem among adolescents. Among
various parameters of malnutrition, stunting is comparatively ignored among adolescents as
its severity was thought to be limited in children up to 5 years of age, with minimal potential
for recovery in later life. However, recent evidence shows otherwise. The study aims to assess
the prevalence of stunting and its association with socio-demographic variables. Somatometric
measurements were taken on 276 adolescent school going Tibetan girls (13-18 years) in Kangra
district, Himachal Pradesh. Data (socio-demographic profile) were collected using a proforma.
Stunting was determined using CDC 2000 growth reference. Chi-Square test and binary
logistic regression were done for statistical assessment using SPSS 20.0. The overall prevalence
of stunting was reported to be 17.26%. Stunting was found to be statistically significant with
age, physical activity, socio-economic status, wasting and thinness. Stunting has remained a
neglected variable in adolescents which needs immediate attention. Poor socio-economic status
and lower physical activity level can significantly increase the risk for stunting in adolescent
girls which can lead to adverse impact on pregnancy outcomes as well on adolescent health.