Anirban Samanta, Samiran Bisai
Abstract: Background: An early childhood growth pattern is an important parameter of well-being in both developed and developing countries. Child growth is influenced by multiple biological and social cultural factors. The parent?s education and occupational status are as an important role in the early stages of child growth and development. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of parent?s education and occupational status on child's growth pattern. Methods: This longitudinal study was conducted in tribal areas of the Jhargram district of West Bengal, India, during 2012 to 2015. Weight of each child aged 1month to 47 months was measured and recorded by trained staff, using baby weighing scale to the nearest 0.5 kg. All information was collected by using a structured schedule through one to one interview. Child percentile growth was calculated based on recent WHO child growth standard. Weight velocity and individual average weight gain were calculated based on standard method. Results: A total of 179 Santal preschool children was included in this study. The proportion of children with weight increment under the 25th percentile was 16 % for boys and 29% for girls. In terms of parent?s education, the weight increment of a higher proportion of children (above 30%) was under the 25th percentile, if the parents were illiterate, compared with about 16% when the parents were literate (P < 0.05). Earning mothers had a significantly lower proportion of children with weight gain below the 25th percentile compared to mothers who were non-earning with father secondary employed had a lower proportion of children (22%) with weight increment under the 25th percentile than fathers primary sector employment. Conclusions: Low weight increments of tribal children are strongly associated with the parent?s low education, and non-earning mothers. More well-designed studies with a larger augmentation and longer follow-up are needed to validate the present outcome.
Keywords: Longitudinal growth, Santal, Education, Employment, India