Evaluation of nutritional status of children using the WHO's Standards for head circumference.
Objective: To evaluate the nutritional status of the Pakistani children aged 2-5 years. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 1474 children, aged 2-5 years, was undertaken from Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan from March-June, 2016. The head circumference (HdC) measurement of each subject was taken. Following the WHO age and sex-specific cut-off points, nutritional status of children was determined. Results: The mean age and HdC of the total subjects was4.15±0.87 years and 48.51 ±1.79 cm, respectively. Mean HdC increased with advancement of age in both boys and girls. Moderate under-nutrition was more prevalent than severe under-nutrition in both genders. Based on the HdC, the overall (age and sex combined) percentage of under-nourishment was 16.2 while these percentages were 16.4 and 15.8 for girls and boys, respectively. Conclusion: The study showed that a considerable number of Pakistani children were undernourished. A high rate of under-nutrition was observed in girls than in boys.