Mal J Nutr 20(1): 39 - 49, 2014

Menarche, Nutritional Status and Body Size in 10 to 12 Year-Old Girls from Kashipur, Purulia, West Bengal, India
Datta Banik S

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Age at menarche (AM) is an important growth and maturity indicator in girls. Pre- and post-menarcheal age-peers differ in BMI-based nutritional status and growth of linear dimensions of body measurements. Methods: Using a cross-sectional approach, body size and nutritional status were evaluated in pre-menarcheal (n=50) and post-menarcheal (n=50) school-going Hindu girls aged 10.0 to 12.87 years. All were from socio-economically poor families in a rural area of Kashipur, Purulia district, West Bengal state, India. Anthropometric parameters included the following: height; body weight; body mass index (BMI); sitting height (SH); subischial leg length (SLL); knee height (KH); bi-acromial diameter (BAD); bi-iliocristal diameter (BILCD); and hip breadth (HB). Z-scores of height-for-age (HAZ) and BMI-for-age (BMIZ) were calculated following WHO to evaluate stunting (low HAZ) and thinness (low BMIZ) Results: The mean age was 11.12 years for pre-menarcheal girls and 11.32 years for post-menarcheal girls. Mean and median AM were 10.52 years and 10.80 years respectively. Post-menarcheal girls had higher mean anthropometric characteristics than pre-menarcheal girls with significant difference (p< 0.05). Undemutrition was frequent among girls, including stunting (pre-menarcheal 62%, post-menarcheal girls 38%), thinness or low BMI-for-age (pre-menarcheal 16%, post-menarcheal 28%), and composite burden of stunting and thinness (pre-menarcheal 14%, post-menarcheal girls 18%). Girls with low BMI-for-age had shorter SH, SLL, KH, BAD, BILCD, and HB. Linear combination of body dimensions significantly (p< 0.05) predicted post-menarcheal status through binary logistic regression analysis. Conclusion: Pre-menarcheal girls experienced a higher degree of chronic undernutrition (stunting). Post¬menarcheal girls showed a greater body size than pre-menarcheal age-peers.

Keywords: Biacromial diameter, height, hip breadth, leg length, menarche

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