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Journal of Anthropology
Volume 2014, Article ID 197048, 9 pages
Research Article

Anthropometric Characteristics of Underprivileged Adolescents: A Study from Urban Slums of India

1Department of Statistics, H. P. T. Arts and R. Y. K. Sc. College, Nashik 422 005, India
2Unit of Nutrition, Department of Lifestyle and Participation, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
3School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
4Research Center for Child Health, Tampere University and University Hospital and the Science Center of Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere, Finland
5Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, Division of Nutrition, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland

Received 2 October 2014; Revised 29 November 2014; Accepted 30 November 2014; Published 24 December 2014

Academic Editor: Kaushik Bose

Copyright © 2014 Sushama A. Khopkar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. The anthropometric status and growth of adolescents living in challenging conditions such as slums are insufficiently studied. The purpose here was to describe anthropometric characteristics and nutritional status of adolescents from urban slums of India and to study the factors affecting it. Methods. Anthropometric, socioeconomic and dietary habit data were collected using structured questionnaires of six hundred adolescents aged 10–19 years by house-to-house survey conducted in two randomly selected slums of Nashik, Western India. The growth of adolescents was compared using WHO and Indian reference populations. Mixed effects logistic regression models were used to examine associations between anthropometric measures and income, mother’s education, household size, and dietary intake. Results. Prevalences of stunting and thinness were lower using the Indian reference population compared to that of WHO. Stunting was more prevalent than thinness in the study subjects, and boys suffered more than girls. The effect of age on stunting was different among boys than girls. A mother’s education was highly significantly associated with both stunting and thinness in both sexes. Household size and income were significantly associated with the nutritional status of girls. Conclusions. Educating mothers about the nutritional needs of adolescents may help to improve adolescents’ anthropometric profile and future health.