Association between Farming and Chronic Energy Deficiency in Rural South India
AuthorSubasinghe, AK; Walker, KZ; Evans, RG; Srikanth, V; Arabshahi, S; Kartik, K; Kalyanram, K; Thrift, AG
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sTHRIFT, AMANDA
AffiliationMedicine (Austin & Northern Health)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSubasinghe, A. K., Walker, K. Z., Evans, R. G., Srikanth, V., Arabshahi, S., Kartik, K., Kalyanram, K. & Thrift, A. G. (2014). Association between Farming and Chronic Energy Deficiency in Rural South India. PLOS ONE, 9 (1), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0087423.
Access StatusOpen Access
OBJECTIVE: To examine factors associated with chronic energy deficiency (CED) and anaemia in disadvantaged Indian adults who are mostly involved in subsistence farming. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study in which we collected information on socio-demographic factors, physical activity, anthropometry, blood haemoglobin concentration, and daily household food intake. These data were used to calculate body mass index (BMI), basal metabolic rate (BMR), daily energy expenditure, and energy and nutrient intake. Multivariable backward stepwise logistic regression was used to assess socioeconomic and lifestyle factors associated with CED (defined as BMI<18 kg/m²) and anaemia. SETTING: The study was conducted in 12 villages, in the Rishi Valley, Andhra Pradesh, India. SUBJECTS: Individuals aged 18 years and above, residing in the 12 villages, were eligible to participate. RESULTS: Data were available for 1178 individuals (45% male, median age 36 years (inter quartile range (IQR 27-50)). The prevalence of CED (38%) and anaemia (25%) was high. Farming was associated with CED in women (2.20, 95% CI: 1.39-3.49) and men (1.71, 95% CI: (1.06-2.74). Low income was also significantly associated with CED, while not completing high school was positively associated with anaemia. Median iron intake was high: 35.7 mg/day (IQR 26-46) in women and 43.4 mg/day (IQR 34-55) in men. CONCLUSIONS: Farming is an important risk factor associated with CED in this rural Indian population and low dietary iron is not the main cause of anaemia. Better farming practice may help to reduce CED in this population.
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