Nutritional Status and Basic Hygiene Practices of Rural School Age Children of Savar Region, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Main Article Content

Sahadat Hossain
Fahad Ahmed
Shakhaoat Hossain
Tajuddin Sikder


Introduction: School children in the  developing countries are susceptible to nutrition related health problems due to demographic and socio-economic factors, as well as limited access to food. Since BMI is a common proxy measure used to evaluate nutritional status, the aim of this study was to investigate the BMI categories in school-aged children in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Methods: A cross sectional study of 155 children, aged 6-12 years was conducted at Jahangirnagar University School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The data collection was performed by in-person interviews and semi-structured questionnaires. Descriptive statistics, ?2 test, Fisher’s exact test, and One-Way ANOVA test were performed to compare the variables based on BMI percentiles. Data were analyzed using the Microsoft Excel program (version 2010).

Results: Mean BMI of the students was 17.27 (SD=3.16). The prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity was 11.0% and 25.8%, respectively. Categories of BMI percentiles were associated with birth order (p=0.026), personal hygiene practices (washing hands after coming home from outside (p<0.001) and before meal (p=0.045)), brushing teeth (p<0.001), the number of food items consumed daily (p<0.001), and mothers’ occupation (p=0.006). In context of basic hygiene practice, 61.3 % of respondents washed hands after coming home from outside, and 93.5 % reported washing hands before the meals.

Conclusions: This study revealed that more than one third of the students had abnormal BMI. BMI screening in rural schools needs to be recommended in early grades for all children.

Article Details

How to Cite
Hossain, S., Ahmed, F., Hossain, S., & Sikder, T. (2018). Nutritional Status and Basic Hygiene Practices of Rural School Age Children of Savar Region, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Central Asian Journal of Global Health, 7(1).


Hu X, Zhong J. The Study of Design of Children’s Anti-lost Clothing Based upon Ergonomics. 7th International Conference, DHM, Toronto, Canada. 2016; 9745:13-21.

Hasan MM, Hoque MA, Hossain MA, Mollah AH, Islam MN. Nutritional status among primary school children of Mymensingh. Mymensingh Med J. 2013; 22: 267-74.

Das P, Basu M, Dhar G, Mallik S, Pa R. Nutritional status and morbidity pattern of government primary school children in north Kolkata of West Bengal, India. South East Asia Journal of Public Health. 2012; 2:13-7.

Degarege D, Degarege A, Animut A. Undernutrition and associated risk factors amongschool age children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. BMC public health. 2015; 15:375.

WaterAid. Undernutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). 2017; (Accessed 5 March 2018).

Singh V, West KP. Vitamin A deficiency and xerophthalmia among school-aged children in Southeastern Asia. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004; 58:1342-9.

Brooker S, Clements AC, Hotez PJ, Hay SI, Tatem AJ, Bundy DA, et al. The co-distribution of Plasmodium falciparum and hookworm among African schoolchildren. Malaria journal. 2006; 5:99.

Awill-bethi S, Bundy D. Intestinal nematode infection and anaemia in developing countries. BMJ 2007; 334:1065-6.

Pollitt E. Early iron deficiency anemia and later mental retardation. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 69:4-5.

Singh M. Role of micronutrients for physical growth and mental development. Indian J Pediatr. 2004; 71:59-62.

Mustufa MA, Jamali AK, Sameen I, Burfat FM, Baloch MY, Baloch AH, et al. Malnutrition and poor oral health status are major risks among primary school children at Lasbela, Balochistan, Pakistan. Journal of health, population, and nutrition. 2017; 36:17.

Marshak A, Young H, Bontrager EN, Boyd EM. The Relationship Between Acute Malnutrition, Hygiene Practices, Water and Livestock, and Their Program Implications in Eastern Chad. Food and nutrition bulletin. 2017; 38:115-27.

Brown J, Cairncross S, Ensink JH. Water, sanitation, hygiene and enteric infections in children. Archives of disease in childhood. 2013; 98:629-34.

Khan SH, Talukder SH. Nutrition transition in Bangladesh: is the country ready for this double burden. Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. 2013; 14 Suppl 2:126-33.

MOHFW. Demographic and health survey. National Institute of Population Research and Training, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Dhaka, Bangladesh. 2014; (Accessed 5 March 2018).

Bulbul T, Hoque M. Prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight in Bangladesh: findings from a countrywide epidemiological study. BMC pediatrics. 2014; 14:86.

WHO. The double burden of malnutrition: Policy brief. World Health Organization. 2017; (Accessed 5 March 2018).

Sultan K, Habiba T. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in infancy. Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull. 2008; 34:69-70.

Bhurosy T, Jeewon R. Overweight and obesity epidemic in developing countries: a problem with diet, physical activity, or socioeconomic status? Scientific World Journal. 2014; 2014:964236.

Reilly JJ, Kelly J. Long-term impact of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence on morbidity and premature mortality in adulthood: systematic review. International journal of obesity. 2011; 35:891-8.

Raihan MJ, Farzana FD, Sultana S, Haque MA, Rahman AS, Waid JL, et al. Examining the relationship between socio-economic status, WASH practices and wasting. PloS one. 2017; 12:e0172134.

Halder AK, Tronchet C, Akhter S, Bhuiya A, Johnston R, Luby SP. Observed hand cleanliness and other measures of handwashing behavior in rural Bangladesh. BMC public health. 2010; 10:545.

WHO. Physical Status: The use and interpretation of Anthropometry. World Health Organization. 2018; (Accessed 5 March 2018).

Lohman T, Roche AF, Martorell R. Anthropometric Standardization Reference Manual. Human Kinetics Books, Champaign, Ill. 1988; ISBN: 0873221214, 9780873221214.

CDC. Healthy Weight: About Child & Teen BMI. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. 2015; (Accessed 5 March 2018).

de Onis M, Blossner M, Borghi E. Prevalence and trends of stunting among pre-school children, 1990-2020. Public health nutrition. 2012; 15:142-8.

Jyoti DF, Frongillo EA, Jones SJ. Food insecurity affects school children's academic performance, weight gain, and social skills. J Nutr. 2005; 135:2831-9.

Ali Naser I, Jalil R, Wan Muda WM, Wan Nik WS, Mohd Shariff Z, Abdullah MR. Association between household food insecurity and nutritional outcomes among children in Northeastern of Peninsular Malaysia. Nutr Res Pract. 2014; 8:304-11.

Basak JK, Titumir RAM, Baten MA, Dey NC. A Review Study on Food Consumption and Hovered Nutrition in Bangladesh: Progress and Determinants of Food Security. Bangladesh J Environ Sci. 2015; 29:29-36.

BIRDEM. Dietary Guidelines for Bangladesh. Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders. 2014; (Accessed 5 March 2018).

Zohura F, Bhuyian SI, Monira S, Begum F, Biswas SK, Parvin T, et al. Observed Handwashing with Soap Practices Among Cholera Patients and Accompanying Household Members in a Hospital Setting (CHoBI7 Trial). The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2016; 95:1314-8.

Nizame FA, Nasreen S, Halder AK, Arman S, Winch PJ, Unicomb L, et al. Observed practices and perceived advantages of different hand cleansing agents in rural Bangladesh: ash, soil, and soap. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2015; 92:1111-6.

Most read articles by the same author(s)