International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305

Full Length Research Paper

Child’s growth and nutritional status in two communities-Mishing tribe and Kaibarta caste of Assam, India

Debashis Basu
  • Debashis Basu
  • Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, India.
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Gulenur Islam
  • Gulenur Islam
  • Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University, Assam, India.
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Ratul Gogoi
  • Ratul Gogoi
  • Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University, Assam, India.
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Swarupa Dey
  • Swarupa Dey
  • Department of Anthropology, G C College of Science, Silchar, North Cachar Hills, Assam, India.
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Junumai Deori
  • Junumai Deori
  • Department of Anthropology, Gauhati University, Assam, India.
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  •  Accepted: 13 November 2013
  •  Published: 28 February 2014


Physical growth and development studies were carried out among the populations of both tribal and non-tribal in eastern India by different scholars in different milieu and environmental factors from the eighties and onwards. Since then, the inhabitants of those areas have been doing agriculture, fishing, etc as prime occupation, but after a few decades in the same region, demographic and socio-economic changes took place under the influences of worldwide globalization of industrialization. These are evident in the increase of budget allocation of the respective governments. At the same time, people living in the regions who are under the influence of industrialization have received improved life style being marked with over nutrition; while people in the regions that do not have the impact of socio-economic improvement still struggle with under-nutrition. This co-existing situation of under- and over nutrition among the populations of Indian subcontinent is aptly described as double burden of malnutrition by Shukla et al. In this paper, growth based on anthropometric measurements of height and weight statistically treated in terms of height-for-age-, weight-for-age and BMI-for-age-z score is analyzed by lms formula with reference to WHO. The nutritional status of 3 to 10 years plus children of  Mishing (a scheduled tribe) and Kaibarta (a caste population of Assam, India) is studied. The children of 3-10 years plus of Mishing and Kaibarta populations were observed to be shorter than those of the children of CDC2000, Indian, and IndUp; but are taller than their ICMR counterpart. In the present study, the proportions of stunting, underweight, and thinness categories among the boys of both populations were observed to be higher than those of girls; this indicates suffering from chronic under-nutrition due to prolonged deprivation of required nutrients and illness.
Key words: Mishing Tribe, Kaibarta caste, height, weight, BMI, Assam, India, stunting, wasting, thinness.