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Age Trend in Thinness among Birhor Children and Adolescents of Purulia: A Primitive Tribe of West Bengal, India.

Asian Journal of Biological and Life Sciences ,2012,1,1,58-60.
Published:May 2012
Type:Short Communication
Author(s) affiliations:

Subal Das, Mileva Mahata, Kaushik Bose*

Department of Anthropology, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore 721 102, West Bengal, INDIA


The present cross-sectional study was undertaken among one of the smallest primitive tribes of West Bengal, the Birhors. This study is the first, to investigate thinness using body mass index (BMI) among (2 18 years) children and adolescent Birhors of Purulia, West Bengal, India. A total of 88 (51 boys and 37 girls) from two villages, Bhupatipalli and Bareriya were measured. Commonly used indicators i.e., weight (Wt), height (Ht), mi-upper arm circumferences (MUAC) and body mass index (BMI), were used to evaluate nutritional status. Significant (p < 0.05) sex differences in mean BMI (t = -2.215, p < 0.05) was observed in (13 18) years age-group. Significant age-group differences (ANOVA) in Wt (156.393, p < 0.001), Ht (171.637, p < 0.001), MUAC (68.684, p < 0.001) and BMI (28.134, p < 0.001) were observed. Results also reveals that prevalence of undernutrition [chronic energy deficiency (CED) grades age and sex combined] among Birhors were (75.0 %). The sex-specific rates were: boys = 74.5 % and girls = 75.7 %. There was no significant sex difference in CED prevalence based on BMI (X2= 1.525, df = 4, p = 0.822). Birhor children and adolescents of Purulia, were experiencing very high (critical) nutritional condition for these age groups and the girls and youngest among them were experiencing the most critical situation with respect to their health and nutritional status