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Food Security and Nutritional Status of Women Selected from a Rural Area in South India

Nutritional status is directly related to health of population and is influenced by levels of education, standard of living and social status. The present investigation was carried out with an interest to collect data regarding the nutritional and food security status of women selected from a village in Mysuru district situated in South India. A total of 500 healthy female subjects belonging to the age group of 20-40 years were recruited for the study using purposive sampling. The required information such as anthropometric measurements and dietary assessment, dwelling facilities, agriculture related information, live stock raising, etc. were collected using suitable tools and techniques. Results showed that majority of subjects belonged to low income group and availed facilities under different welfare schemes. A total of 13.8% of respondents were engaged in agriculture and the rest procured food items from external sources. Cereals and pulses were major agricultural produce. Most of it was sold and a small portion retained for household use. The common live stocks seen in the households were goat (6%), sheep (7.8%), hen (14%), cow (2.2%) and buffalo (0.4%), respectively. Using body mass index and waist-hip ratio as criteria only 37.5 and 32% of subjects were in normal range and rest were either under or over-nourished. The 24 h dietary recall showed that diets were deficient in protein, dietary fiber and iron. An overall assessment of food security indicated that the diets needed qualitative improvement and despite being engaged in agriculture, protective foods were missing from diets. The diet patterns revolved around the cereals and pulses grown and/or procured through the welfare programs thus compromising the nutritional quality of the diets.

Author(s): Vatsala L, Jamuna Prakash and Prabhavathi SN

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  • China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI)