Underweight and Associated Factors Among Teenage Adolescent Girls in Resource-poor Settings: A Cross-sectional Study.

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Underweight and Associated Factors Among Teenage Adolescent Girls in Resource-poor Settings: A Cross-sectional Study.

Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2021;14:9-19

Authors: Singh JK, Acharya D, Rani D, Gautam S, Thapa Bajgain K, Bajgain BB, Park JH, Yoo SJ, Poder TG, Lewin A, Lee K

Abstract
Background and Purpose: Understanding the undernutrition status of teenage adolescent girls living in urban slums and its associated factors is meaningful to formulate customized health strategies. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of being underweight and associated factors among teenage adolescent girls in urban slums.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we enrolled a total of 418 teenage adolescent girls from five of 210 urban slums of Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh, India employing two-stage probability sampling for the selection of households and subjects, between September 2016 and July 2017. The study of underwight subjects was assessed with BMI for age using standard criteria. Factors associated with being underweight were determined by multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Results: Of 418 study subjects, 49.76% (208/418) were underweight. Results revealed that sociodemographic factors such as teenage adolescent girls who were from SC/ST (schedule caste/schedule tribe) caste/ethnicity (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=2.02, 95%CI: 1.00-4.23), subjects whose father’s education level was primary or lower (AOR=1.87, 95%CI: 1.12-3.11), and number of people in the family >4 (AOR=2.18, 95%CI: 1.18-4.03) were associated with being underweight. Likewise, dietary behavior-related factors such as vegetarian (AOR=2.21, 95%CI: 1.25-3.92), and <3 meals per day (AOR=2.36, 95%CI: 1.40-3.98) than their counterparts were associated with being underweight. In addition, teenage adolescent girls from food-insecure households (AOR=3.33, 95%CI: 2.01-5.51) were more likely to be underweight than those from food-secure households.
Conclusion: The higher burden of underweight among teenage adolescent girls in Indian urban slums needs to be addressed through specific public health interventions such as by improving education, providing education regarding dietary behavior, and having access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious foods.

PMID: 33442312 [PubMed]

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