Received: March 05, 2010
Accepted: July 24, 2010
Saxena Y, Saxena V. Nutritional status in rural adolescent girls residing at hills of Garhwal in India (2009). Internet J Med Update. 2011 Jul;6(2):3-8.


Yogesh Saxena* MD and Vartika Saxena** MD

*Assistant professor, Department of Physiology, **Associate professor, Department of Community medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, HIHT university, Dehradun-248140, India

(Corresponding Author: Dr. Yogesh Saxena, Department of Physiology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, HIHT university, Swami Ramnagar, Dehradun-248140, India; Mobile: +919719040008 ; Email:


Nutritional inadequacy leads to health problems, especially during the period of increased demand. Adolescents are a potential group in view of rapid growth and maturation which demands extra nutrients. With the multitude of social customs and beliefs cited against adolescents especially adolescent girls it is no wonder that they form the vulnerable group of under nutrition. With poor socio economic status, hostile living conditions and food influenced by vagaries of nature, adolescents living at hills form the distinct group to be studied. This cross-sectional prevalence study included 45 adolescent girls of age group 12-19 years residing in hills of Garhwal. The outcome measures for nutritional status were stunting, thinness and proportion of underweight/under nutrition. In this study 34.61% of adolescents’ girls were found to be stunted. The stunting was more (33.33%) in 16 to 19 years of age group. The overall prevalence of thinness was 43.47%. However percentage of thinness was higher (56.25%) in the lower age group (12-15 years). Under nutrition was prevalent in similar proportions in both the age groups with > 50% of the rural adolescent girls having less than 3rd percentile of weight for age by NCHS standards. The prevalence of stunting, thinness and underweight was high among adolescent girls living at high altitudes. In this regard special attention should be paid to the girls of hills and specific strategies should be formulated for meeting their nutritional demands.

KEY WORDS: Stunting; Thinness; Body Mass Index; Under-nutrition; Adolescent girls