Anthropometric Characteristics and Body Composition measures among the Santal tribal population of Mayurbhanj, Odisha, India

The detrimental effects of malnutrition on health, development, and economic productivity are widely recognized. Accurate identification is crucial to understand the severity and address the issue. Tribal health has long been a focus for researchers and scholars. The current study aims to evaluate the nutritional status of the Santal tribe in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, India. Conducted in a predominantly Santal village in Baripada, the study included 100 Santal adults. Anthropometric and body composition measurements were taken using standard techniques, and data were analyzed with IBM SPSS Statistics 20. Significant differences (p<0.05) were found in all measured variables except MUAC, waist, and hip circumference. Variations in anthropometric characteristics by age were noted in both genders. A significant gender difference was seen in waist-to-hip ratio, but not in BMI categories. These findings highlight the need for nutritional interventions and suggest that grassroots screening programs could help identify and address nutritional vulnerabilities.