Do depressive symptoms have an association with the nutrition outcome of Indian adolescents?

Preeti Dhillon, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Mohd Usman
Mohammad Hifzur Rahman, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai
Sayeed Unisa, international Institute for Population Sciences

Depression has emerged as a common illness in general and particularly during the pandemic period. The depression among adolescents, if left unattended, can lead to protracted health, mental health problems and school drop-out. This study attempts to explore the relationship of depression with nutrition among adolescent boys and girls. We used a nationally representative sample survey- Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS), 2016-18, consisting of an analytical sample of 35,830 adolescents of age 10–19 years. Depression was measured through the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 depression scale. The nutrition outcome included body mass index and waist circumference. Results from ordered logistic regression showed a higher adjusted proportion of older female adolescents (mild: 15.9%, CI:15.2, 16.7; moderate/severe 4.6%, CI: 4.2, 4.9) as compare to male adolescents (mild: 11.6%, CI:11.0, 12.2; moderate/severe 3.3%, CI: 3.0, 3.6) suffering from mild to severe depression. A significant proportion of female respondents with 'moderate/severe' levels of depression 'was undernourished than those who had no/minimal depression. School health checkups and counselling are essential for the identification of depression and malnutrition among adolescents. Junk food monitoring in the canteen and healthy food supply fin mid-day meal will help to reduce the undernutrition. Special interventions for girls are required to reduce the alarming feminization of depression.

Keywords: Children and youth, Health and morbidity, Gender, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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  Presented in Session 25. Challenges Facing the Young in India