Effect of undernutrition on cognitive development of children, Kavindra Kesari, Ruchika Handa and Ranu Prasad
Abstract: Undernutrition is a problem worldwide, especially among infants and young children, belonging to the poor socio-economic classes. Our aim was to explore the associations between undernutrition and Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and school performance in children. A total of 150 school going children were selected randomly from Allahabad district, U.P. (India). Selected Children (n = 150) were grouped into undernourished (n = 34) and adequately nourished (n = 116) on the basis of anthropometric measurements with respect to stunting and wasting, with reference to National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) standards. It was continued by various cognitive function tests. On comparing undernourished and adequately nourished group on cognitive function showed statistically significant deficit was observed on attention, design fluency, verbal and visual working memory, mathematical calculations, visuo perceptual ability, intelligence, immediate verbal learning and visual and verbal memory. It can be inferred from the present study that undernourished children have deficit on most of the cognitive development such as attention, executive function, calculation, visuo-perceptual ability, long term learning and memory and intelligence.
Keywords: Nutrition, Anthropometrics, Cognitive development, Intelligence