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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Assessment of dietary habits and nutritional status among adolescent girls in a rural area of Puducherry: a community-based cross-sectional study

Deepika Chandar
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry 605006, India
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Bijaya Nanda Naik
  • Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
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/ Goutham Thumati
  • Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
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/ Sonali Sarkar
  • Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
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Published Online: 2018-12-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0001



Adolescence is a crucial period for growth and dietary habit formation among females for leading a healthy life in future.


To assess the dietary habits and nutritional status using the body mass index (BMI) among adolescent girls from a rural village in Puducherry.


This community-based cross-sectional study was conducted during February 2017 among 252 adolescent girls in rural Puducherry. A semi-structured pre-tested interview schedule was used to obtain information on socio-demographic details and dietary habits from adolescent girls. Height and weight were measured by standard techniques recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Nutritional status was assessed according to the WHO BMI for age for 5–19 years. Regular and occasional food consumption were defined as consumption of particular items >3 and <3 times a week, respectively.


Mean age of the participants was 13.79 + 2.11 years and 91.3% were non-vegetarians. The majority of adolescent girls ate cereals (97.4%) and pulses (54%) regularly. However, regular vegetable (34.5%) and fruit (13.1%) consumption was low. Only about 10% and <2% had regular consumption of milk and iron-rich vegetables and fruits, respectively. Regular consumption of junk food items was found among 5.6%. Prevalence of thinness among adolescent girls was 10.7% (95% CI: 7.3–15) and overweight was 13.5% (95% CI: 9.7–18.1).


In this adolescent population, though consumption of cereals and pulses were adequate and satisfactory, the consumption of fruits, vegetables and iron/calcium rich foods was inadequate and poor. About one-fourth of adolescent girls had an abnormal nutritional status. Hence, focused nutritional and health-education intervention should be given to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, iron-rich and calcium-rich food items.

Keywords: adolescent girls; dietary habits; India; nutritional status


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About the article

Received: 2018-01-01

Accepted: 2018-03-27

Published Online: 2018-12-31

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20180001, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2018-0001.

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