|Year : 1996 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 34-42
Food intake and nutrient adequacy of rural population of Guntur District (Andra Pradesh)*
College of Home Science, (APAU) BAPATLA, Guntur District, India
|Date of Submission||21-Sep-1995|
Post Graduate & Research Centre, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad 30
|How to cite this article:|
Khader V. Food intake and nutrient adequacy of rural population of Guntur District (Andra Pradesh)*. Indian J Med Sci 1996;50:34-42
Over the last few decades, surveys by international teams sponsored by FAO and WHO have clearly identified the high incidence of dietary deficiencies in developing countries.  Nutrient intake in a given population groups is usually estimated by dietary survey data which is based on the nutrient composition of raw foods consumed by individuals. The validity of dietary surveys largely depends upon the methodology used for collection of information on food intake and conversion into nutrient intake. The findings reported here are a par, of a research project undertaken to study the comparative nutritional studies on malnutrition and child mortality among pre-schoolers in selected urban slums and rural areas of Guntur District financed by ICAR.
| ¤ Material and Methods|| |
Selection of Area: Guntur is one of the main districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh. The district is divided into Tenali, Guntur and Narasarao pet divisions consisting of 19, 18 and 20 mandals respectively consisting of 962 villages. Ten mandals from each divisions were randomly selected to represent the child sample of entire divisions based on the probability production to size technique [Figure 1]. Rural area refers to 10,000 population and urban area from one lakh to ten lakhs of population respectively.
| ¤ Description of the sample|| |
From each division a total number of 400 pre-school children 200 from urban slum area and 200 from rural area were selected randomly from all the selected mandals. From the three divisions, a total of 1200 children were randomly selected for the study.
| ¤ Data Collection|| |
A personal interview schedule was prepared and presented for data collection. Junior Research Scientists of foods and nutrition specialisation, who were trained for conducting dietary surveys, collected the information. These research scientists stayed in the villages during the collection period. Dietary survey was carried out in each family for three consecutive days. Fasting, festival and market days were avoided. The weight of all the food ingredients used for each item of food prepared, the cooked weight of each item of the food prepared, and the weight of cooked food consumed by each member of the family was recorded accurately. The respondent in each family was the house wife who was actually involved in cooking the food. From the quantity of cooked food consumed, raw food weight was calculated and based on the raw food data, the nutrient intake was calculated; using food composition tables. 
| ¤ Anthropometric measurements|| |
To assess the nutritional status height& weight, of all the preschool children of the selected families were recorded. For the other age groups height and weight measurements were recorded. Weight was recorded in Kg to the nearest 0.1 height was recorded without shoes on a portable harpenden type stadiometer.
| ¤ Results|| |
The daily meal pattern in most of the families consisted of two principal meals. Cereals formed the major food item in each meal and all the other foods were consumed in very small quantities. The proportion of cereal to pulse was 20:1 as against 9:1 ratio suggested by Indian Council of Medical Research.  Consumption of green leafy vegetables fats and oils and animal foods was negligible. Consumption of milk was limited.
Nutrient intake and adequacy
The mean nutrient intake and the percent adequacy when compared with recommended dietary allowances  is given in [Table 1]. The intake of almost all the nutrients was inadequate in both the age groups of Tenali division. The deficiency ranges from 32 to 54%. In Guntur urban area as well as Narasarao pet division, the intake of all the nutrients are close to the recommended nutrients. This is mainly due to the impact of ICDS programme which improved the nutritional awareness of the mothers. No appreciable difference was noticed in the percent of adequacy of vitamins between the different age groups. The deficits in calcium and iron intake was greater in the younger age group i.e. 1-3 years.
The mean anthropometric measurements of pre-school children are shown in [Table 2] and [Table 3] and compared with the values for Andhra Pradesh region reported by National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau of India (This is a population measurement, but not an optimum standard). Nutritional status of the children was assessed using the Gomez Classification of weight for age is given in [Figure 2],[Figure 3],[Figure 4]. In all the selected mandals of Guntur district 6-8% of the selected children were in Ill degree malnutrition. Majority of the children in urban as well as in rural area were in grade 1 malnutrition. The various factors responsible are (1) Availability of the foods (2) Market facilities (3) Nutrition Knowledge of the mother (4) Food distribution within the family and finally the economic status of the family.
| ¤ Discussion|| |
The food intake data are often used to elicit the information about nutrient availability. Although the composition of balanced diets for different age groups indicated by ICMR  includes all foods. It is not necessary to consume exactly the same qualities of foods included in the recommended dietary intakes. It is possible to derive nutritional requirements by consuming a judicious combination of a few foods like cereals, legumes, vegetables and milk provided that they are included in amounts to meet the nutritional requirements. Except cereals all other foods were taken in quantities less than recommended amounts suggested by ICMR.  Therefore it is natural that requirements of nutrients like ascorbic acid, Vitamin A, Calcium, iron and riboflavin which are not present in cereals were not met in the diets of the children. A part from the general deficit in the intake of animal foods (7-16g), the intake of the allowance legumes (12-29g) was also less than recommended. Hence there was a defict in the intake of protein and riboflavin. The intake of energy rich sources like oil, sugar and jaggery was also low, hence the total energy requirement was not met inspite of greater than recommended cereal intake. The deficit in calcium, iron ascorbic acid and carotene could be attributed to the low intake of vegetable. Similar observations have been reported by Sunderraj and pereia. 
From the findings of the present survey, ascorbic acid and Vitamin A deficiency seem to be most predominent followed by riboflavin. thiamine, iron and niacin. The deficiencies of energy and protein were not great, although the protein consumed was mainly vegetable protein. It is evident from the agricultural production data of the state  that only cereal production has increased appreciably in the last decades and the production of foods such as vegetables, milk, legumes and flesh foods has not increased to the same extent. This disproportionate increase in cereal production during the last two to three decades, and more so after the green revolution, is responsible for the increased consumption of cereals and reduced consumption of other foods  , The anthropometric data of preschool children was closer to the regional standards reported by National Nutrition Monitoring Monitoring Bureau of India. 
| ¤ Summary|| |
The study reported here was undertaken to investigate the food intake and nutrient adequacy of rural population in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. A total of 1200 pu-school - children were covered under the study from three divisions of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. A 3 day dietary survey was conducted by a weighed method for estimating the food intake. Nutritional Value of the food consumed was calculated. Nutritional status was assessed by anthropometry. The consumption of milk was very inadequate. Most of the protein and energy were derived from cereals. It is also revealed that ascorbic acid and β-carotene deficiency seem to be most predominant followed by riboflavin, thiamine, iron and niacin.
| ¤ References|| |
|1.||Neige Tod Hunter E. Food habits, Food faddisur and nutrition. Food nutrition and health Wld Rev Nutr Diet 1973;16:286. |
|2.||Gopalan C, Ramaswamy BV. Balasubramanian SC. Nutritive values of Indian foods, Hyderbad. National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR. 1976. |
|3.||ICMR Advisory Conimitteo. Recommended dietary intakes of nutrients. New Delhi Indian Council of Medical Research. 1981:46. |
|4.||Sunderraj R, Pereira SM. A diet survery on a village of North Arcot. Ind J Nutr Diet 1971;8_ 9-12. |
|5.||Bureau of Economics and Statistics. Hand book of statistics. Andhra Pradesh_ Hyderabad, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh 1980. |
|6.||National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau. Report for the year 1978. Hyderabad. National Institute of Nutrition. Indian Council of Medical Research 1978. |
[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]
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