Introduction: Despite an agricultural country, India confronting malnutrition as a major public health challenge, where every second child is at risk of malnutrition. The nation ranking second in population with disproportionate rural and urban demography, further poor penetration of government assisted programs in remote, underserved areas fuelling the malnutrition in rural areas.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Department of Community Medicine of Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital. Total 465 schoolchildren in rural and urban areas of Bareilly district were screened for malnutrition and their socio-demographic profiles were studied.
Results: Overall, the prevalence of malnutrition in schoolchildren of Bareilly district was 40.2%. Fraction contributed by urban and rural territories was 35.2% and 43%, respectively. The prevalence of malnutrition was found higher in rural area as compared to urban area and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The study shows 43% prevalence of malnutrition in rural areas and under nutrition was the main cause of malnutrition attributed by poverty and illiteracy. However, urban areas reported 7.8% lower prevalence of malnutrition, but alarming trends of overweight and obesity 15.2%.