Mid-arm Circumference as a Rapid Assessment Tool of Adolescent Nutrition Status in Three Rural Schools
Shyam V Ashtekar, Jagdish D Powar, Siddiqui Aqsa, Vinod Shinde
INTRODUCTION: Adolescent nutrition is often neglected because of greater focus on U5 children. A large mass of heightâ€“weight estimation is done in schools, but hardly evaluated, partly because body mass index (BMI) needs calculation. OBJECTIVES: This rural study was undertaken to first estimate BMI, mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), and waist:hip ratio (WHR) and thereafter to study the correlation of MUAC with BMI and also WHR to see how well MUAC can answer the need for a direct and rapid estimate of adolescent growth. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study with a convenience sample of three rural schools in Nashik district covering 261 students (M 128, F 131) in 8th and 9th divisions. Standard procedures were used for anthropometry including MUAC. Excel and Epi-Info were used for analysis. RESULTS: BMI scores were: for 13.5 years: boys 15.9 (1.9), girls 16.9 (2.9), BMI for 14.5 years: boys 16.31 (2.2), girls 17.9 (2.48). Gils had statistically significantly higher BMI than boys. Observed BMI values are about 25th percentile of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) growth curves and about 15th percentile of the World Health Organization (WHO) growth curves. MUAC in cm were: for 13.5 years: boys 19.89 (2.76), girls 19.94 (2.17) and for 14.5 years, boys 22.16 (2.36), girls 20.41 (2.51). The MUAC correlated well with BMI (r = 0.8974, p = 0.0001) in pooled data, but not with pooled WHR (r = 0.24, p = 0.057). CONCLUSION: (a) There is need to monitor adolescent anthropometry and timely intervention (b) MUAC has strong correlation with weight, waist, hip, and BMI in the study population. Hence, MUAC can be a quick and simple tool for adolescent growth assessment.
Adolescents, Body mass index, Mid-upper arm circumference