Introduction: Malnutrition is a leading cause of childhood mortality and morbidity. It is a silent emergency which results from combination of factors and conditions. Growing children are most vulnerable to its consequences. Aim: To determine the prevalence of malnutrition among preschool children in Karnataka. Materials and Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis was done to find out the pooled estimation of prevalence of malnutrition. An extensive literature search of International and National electronic databases were carried out. The criteria used for the search were limited to descriptive studies, cross-sectional studies, and epidemiological studies in English language. Out of 2183 studies, 28 papers were assessed for methodological quality and finally 24 papers were included in the review based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. These studies were then subjected to quality of assessment using the STROBE guidelines. Results: Out of 24 articles, 19 articles were graded prevalence of malnutrition as per New WHO 2006 child growth standards and five studies were graded malnutrition as per IAP classification. The pooled prevalence of malnutrition as per IAP classification was 41% with 95% CI (0.23-0.59). The pooled prevalence of underweight as per WHO child growth standard was 44% with 95% CI (0.38–0.49), stunting 35% with 95% CI (0.31-0.40), and wasting 28% with 95% CI (0.17–0.38). Conclusion: The findings of this review indicate that malnutrition is still an important problem in children. There is a need for finding the risk factors for malnutrition and a consistent effort from departments and parents concerned to improve the nutritional status further to reduce morbidity among children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 01-11-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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