Journal of ISSN: 2373-4310JNHFE

Nutritional Health & Food Engineering
Research Article
Volume 1 Issue 3 - 2014
Nutritional Status of Women Dwelling in Urban Slum Area
Md Monoarul Haque1*, Md Rijwan Bhuiyan2, Mohammad Abu Naser3, Yasin Arafat4, Suman Kumar Roy5 and Md Zahid Hasan Khan6
1Department of Community Nutrition, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Bangladesh
2Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Bangladesh
3Master in Public Health, State University of Bangladesh (SUB), Bangladesh
4Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Bangladesh
5Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), Bangladesh
6Community Medical Institute, Bangladesh
Received: April 30, 2014 | Published: May 26, 2014
*Corresponding author: Md Monoarul Haque, Department of Community Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences (BUHS), 125/1, Darus Salam, Mirpur, Dhaka-1216, Bangladesh, Tel: 00-88-01915839550; Email: @
Citation: Haque MM, Bhuiyan MR, Naser MA, Arafat Y, Suman Kumar R, et al. (2014) Nutritional Status of Women Dwelling in Urban Slum Area. J Nutr Health Food Eng 1(3): 00014. DOI: 10.15406/jnhfe.2014.01.00014

Abstract

Background: The deprivation to women starts from birth in Bangladesh. The socioeconomic, health and nutritional status of women depict gloomy pictures throughout their life.
Objective: The purpose of the study was to assess the nutritional status of the women dwelling in selected urban slum in Dhaka city.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among female aged between 19 to 45 years living in South Monipur slum area of Dhaka city. The study was conducted from April 2012 to June 2012. About 95 samples were selected purposively to conduct this study.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 29.32 years. It also found that majority of the women (87.37%) were married, 10.53% were separated and 2.11% were divorced. The mean income of the study subjects was 2132.63 Tk. Result showed that mean height of respondents was 152.01 ±3.29 cm and mean weight was 48.23 ±4.28 kg. Result found that 13.68% respondents were underweight, 82.11% were normal and 4.21% respondents were overweight.
Conclusion: The findings of this cross-sectional study presented a gloomy picture of the slum women which might reflect the picture of the women in Bangladesh as a whole. So, a longitudinal study on a large scale including all the variables related to nutritional status of the women is desirable for gaining further insight.
Keywords: Nutritional status; Urban slum

Introduction

The prevalence of malnutrition in Bangladesh is among the highest in the world. Millions of children and women suffer from one or more forms of malnutrition including low birth weight, wasting, stunting, underweight, vitamin A deficiency, iodine deficiency disorder and anemia. Today malnutrition not only affects individual but its effects are passed from one generation to the next as malnourished mothers give birth to infants who struggle to develop and thrive. If these children are girls, they often grow up to become malnourished mothers themselves. Globally, malnutrition is attributed to almost one-half of all child deaths. Survivors are left vulnerable to illnesses, stunted growth and intellectual impairment [1]. The deprivation to women starts from birth in Bangladesh. The socioeconomic, health and nutritional status of women depict gloomy pictures throughout their life [2]. Moreover, like most developing countries, the picture of nutritional status of women is far too serious in the poorer socioeconomic groups who live in the rural areas and urban slums of Bangladesh [3,4]. It has been recognized that infants, children and women of the reproductive age constitute the most vulnerable group from the stand point of nutrition [5]. Malnutrition is the outcome of many complex biological and social processes. The roots of malnutrition run deep into its social soil and it is a matter of thought that malnutrition has not been changed significantly during the last two decades [6]. One fourth of non-pregnant mothers living in the slums suffer from severe malnutrition. About 70% of women in Bangladesh suffer from anaemia [7-9]. Following the liberation of Bangladesh, when Dhaka became the capital city and the centre of commercial and economic activities there was a rapid migration of rural people into the city which is still continuing. The rural to urban influx has lead to the development of slums in a large number of places within the city and its fringes with overcrowding, unhygienic and poor sanitary conditions, along with economic insolvency lead to malnutrition and poor health condition. Around half of the city’s poor people are concentrated in nearly 3000 densely populated and environmentally hazardous slums and the overall urban growth rate is very high [10,11]. It is very much clear that the health and nutritional status of the city people is quite impossible to improve without improving the health and nutritional status of the slum dwellers, specially, slum mothers. Research on urban slum mothers, specially, on nutrition is very relevant and deserve in depth studies. This could help to explain many of the interrelated variables which come into play in explaining the prevailing situation amongst the urban slum mothers. The purpose of the study was to assess the nutritional status of the women living in slum environment. So the findings of the study might provide a comprehensive picture on nutrition of slum women, which could inform and guide the concerned authorities for undertaking appropriate measures to improve the situation.

Materials and Methods

Study design
This cross sectional study was conducted among female aged between 19 to 45 years of the South Monipur slum area of Dhaka city. The study was conducted from April 2012 to June 2012.
Sample size and sampling method
About 95 samples were selected purposively to conduct this study.
Data analysis
Data was collected through face to face interview by semi-structured questionnaire. Collected data were coded and analyzed using SPSS-16 and plotted into different frequency table. Ethical issues were considered during collection of data and taken the informed consent from the respondents.

Results

Table 1 showed that the percent distribution of the age of the study subjects. It was found that the majority of the women (45.26%) were in the age of 26-32 years, 26.32% were in 19-25 years, 28.42% were in 30-40 years. The mean age was 29.32 years. It also found that majority of the respondents (87.37%) were married, 10.53% were separated and 2.11% were divorced. The above table showed that majority of the women (48.42%) were literate but no schooling (only signature), 20.00% were illiterate and did not know signature as well as 31.58% were primary level (up to class 5). Regarding monthly income, 19.95%, 68.42% and 12.63% of study people had ≤1500 Tk, 1501 to 2500 Tk and ≥2500 Tk per month. The mean income was 2132.63 Tk. Result also found that 12.63% of respondent’s monthly total family income was ≤5000 Tk, 42.11% was 5001 to 7000 Tk, 30.53% was 7001-9000 Tk and 14.74% of monthly total family income was ≥9000 Tk. The mean income of the total family member was 7301.05 Tk. Table 2 indicated the height (cm) of the respondents. It was found that 7.37%, 45.26%, 40% and 7.37% was <148 cm, 48-152 cm, 153-156 cm and >156 cm high respectively. On the other hand Table 3 showed that 12.63%, 25.26%, 48.42% and 13.68% of women was <43 kg, 43-47 kg, 48-52 kg and >52 kg weight. Figure 1 revealed that 13.68% respondents were underweight, 82.11% were normal and 4.21% respondents were overweight. Table 4 showed that 66.67% and 33.33% respondents were normal and underweight whose total family income was ≤5000 Tk per month. Besides 72.5%, 20.17% and 7.5% were normal, underweight and overweight respectively whose monthly income was 5001-7000 Tk. Normal and overweight was 96.55% and 3.45% in respect to their income was 7001-9000 Tk. About 92.86%, 7.14% and 4.21% respondents were normal, underweight and overweight whose total family income was >9000 Tk per month.

Variables

Frequency

Percentage

Age (in Years)

 

 

19-25

25

26.32

31-40

43

45.26

>40

27

28.42

Mean age

29.32±5.38

Marital Status

 

 

Married

 

87.37

Single

 

10.53

Divorced

 

2.11

Education

 

 

Illiterate

 

20

Literate but no schooling (only signature)

 

48.42

Primary

 

31.58

Monthly Income (in Taka)

 

 

≤1500

18

18.95

1501-2500

65

68.42

2500

12

12.63

Mean income

2132.63±608.35

Monthly Family Income (in Taka)

 

≤5000

12

18.95

5001-7000

40

68.42

7001-9000

29

12.63

>9000

14

 

Mean Income

7301.05±1768.37

Table 1: Socio-demographic characteristics of the study subjects (n=95).

  Height (cm)                                                                                                          

Frequency

Percentage

<148

7

7.37

148-152

43

45.26

153-156

38

40.00

>156

7

7.37

Mean Height

152.01 ± 3.29

Table 2: Distribution of height (cm) of the respondents (n=95).

  Weight (cm)                                                                                                           

Frequency

Percentage

<43 kg

12

12.63

43-47 kg

24

25.26

48-52 kg

46

48.42

>52kg

13

13.68

Meanweight

48.23 ± 4.28

Table 3: Distribution of weight (kg) of the respondents (n=95).

Total Family Income in Taka

Nutritional Status (BMI)

Underweight

Normal

Overweight

Total

≤5000

4(33.33%)

8(66.67%)

0(0%)

12(100%)

5001-7000

8(20%)

29(72.5%)

3(7.5%)

40(100%)

7001-9000

0(0%)

28(96.55%)

1(3.45%)

29(100%)

>9000

7(7.14%)

13(92.86%)

0(0%)

14(100%)

Total

13(13.68%)

78(82.11%)

4(4.21%)

95(100%)

Table 4: BMI and total family income of the respondents (n=95).
Figure 1: Nutritional status of respondents by BMI (n=95).

Discussion

This study provided some important features of the women, specially their socio-economic, demographic and nutritional status, living in a slum in Dhaka. It was found that about half (45.23%) of the respondents were young and majority of them (48.42%) were no formal education, just can sign their name. The mean age was 29.32 year. The mean monthly family income was Tk. 7301.05. These findings were consistent with some studies done in different slums in Dhaka [12-14]. A study carried out in different slums of Dhaka city showed that two thirds of the respondents were young, 74% of them were illiterate (no formal schooling) and most of the families were nuclear [12]. Another study in the similar situation showed that the mean age of the female was 26.1 year [13]. In the present study, 12% of the women was below 42 kg and 7% was below 148 cm. The mean weight and height of the respondents were 48.23 kg and 152.01 cm respectively. According to BMI, about 13.61% of the study subjects were suffering from malnutrition (BMI <18.5). But the real scenario is little bit different. More or less similar findings were observed by several studies carried out earlier in slums and rural Bangladesh [15-17]. In some studies it was found that the average weight and height of Bangladeshi women were 42 kg and 154 cm respectively [2,15]. The study showed that 25% of the pregnant slum mothers were suffering from severe malnutrition (BMI <17) [8] and the mean BMI of this study was similar to earlier reports from slums [14] and rural Bangladesh [18].

Conclusion

This study provided some important information on the nutritional status of women living slum within Dhaka city. The findings of this cross-sectional study presented a gloomy picture of the slum women which might reflect the picture of the women in Bangladesh as a whole. So, a longitudinal study on a large scale including all the variables related to nutritional status of the women is desirable for gaining further insight.

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