Understanding Chronic Energy Deficiency among Population Living Under Limited Nutritional Resources

Sudipta Ghosh

Abstract


The present study examines the prevalence of chronic energy deficiency (CED), with a specific emphasis upon the influential role of socio-economic factors, amongst the Santhals, a tribal community of East-Central India. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 1262 adults among the Santhals of Bankura District, West Bengal, India. An assessment of nutritional status reveals a high prevalence (46.9%) of undernutrition among Santhal adults, as reported elsewhere by the author (Ghosh, 2014). Santhal males were found to be at lower risk of CED relative to females and this difference is statistically significant (dy/dx = -0.410, p = 0.008). Economic status and morbidity profile play crucial contributing roles to the prevalence of underweight among this forest dwelling population. By contrast, being underweight among Santhal adults does not result in greater risk for poor public health. Hence, from an adaptive perspective it is important, at least among this tribal population, that thin adults be distinguished from at-risk underweight adults.

Keywords*


chronic energy deficiency, developmental plasticity, steady state balance, forest dwelling indigenous community, average marginal effects

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