Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2017, 5(4), 113-119
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-5-4-1
Open AccessArticle

Situational Nutritional Analysis of Idumishmi Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, North-East India

Lauri Wright1 and Palak Gupta1,

1University of South Florida, United States

Pub. Date: July 15, 2017

Cite this paper:
Lauri Wright and Palak Gupta. Situational Nutritional Analysis of Idumishmi Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, North-East India. Journal of Food Security. 2017; 5(4):113-119. doi: 10.12691/jfs-5-4-1

Abstract

The studies on tribal population is limited. Therefore, this study investigated the dietary patterns and nutritional health of the Mishmi tribespeople; and evaluated the cultural beliefs surrounding food and their potential impact on nutritional health. It also explored the degree of nutrition transition among the tribal community. Qualitative data collection on four relevant health and nutrition topics was completed using diet recalls, anthropometry, focus groups and key informant interviews. Trained moderators conducted interviews using a pre-tested, structured interview schedule. Focus group interviews and diet recalls were noted, transcribed and translated. Standard analysis was done using different relevant software. It was found that tribal people were consuming a two-meal pattern diet with high carbohydrate, low fat content, poor in vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B12, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Anthropometric analysis showed one-fourth of children 2-9 year old were underweight and 7% were stunted. Many cultural beliefs existed around foods avoided during pregnancy such as papaya, pineapple, twin-fruit, and iron supplementation. Colostrum was considered as bad milk. Appropriate age for introduction of complementary foods was not clear to the mothers. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension were perceived to be high among tribal people. Based on their dietary patterns, physical activity and health status, Idu Mishmi tribes’ appears to be in pattern 3 of the nutrition transition: characterized by labor-intensive work; starchy, low variety, low fat diet; nutritional inadequacies and an absence of obesity. Thus, it can be concluded that little nutrition transition was found among the Idu Mishmi tribe but there were several potentially harmful dietary practices and beliefs followed. Thus, nutrition education is key to increase intake of micronutrients rich food, types and amount of food required by pregnant women, importance of colostrum for infant’s health, timely introduction of complementary foods for infants, and reinforce healthy dietary and lifestyle choices to prevent obesity and development of non-communicable, chronic diseases.

Keywords:
health nutrition Idu Mishmi tribes India arunachal pradesh

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