Research Article
Volume 3 Issue 6 - 2016
Socio Demographic Profile and Nutritional Status of Pangkhua Ethnic Community
Mohammad Mehedi Hasan Khan1, Farzana Akter2, Md Monoarul Haque3*, Tamanna Ferdous4, Atia Arefin5 and Abu Saleh Musa6
1Department of Archaeology, Jahangir Nagar University and Lieutenant Colonel, Bangladesh
2Nutrition Officer, Nutrition Section, UNICEF Bangladesh
3Department of Community Nutrition, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh
4Senior Medical Officer, Harun Eye Foundation Hospital, Bangladesh
5Master of Public Health, North South University, Bangladesh
6Assistant Professor, Gonosasthay Samazvittic Medical College, Bangladesh
*Corresponding Author: Md Monoarul Haque, Department of Community Nutrition, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh.
Received: March 27, 2016; Published: May 06, 2016
Citation: Md Monoarul Haque., et al. “Socio Demographic Profile and Nutritional Status of Pangkhua Ethnic Community”. EC Nutrition 3.6 (2016): 766-769.
A cross sectional study was undertaken to assess sociodemographic profile as well as nutritional status of Pangkhua ethnic community in Chittagong Hill Tracts. A total of 112 subjects were estimated. Purposive sampling among respondent’s technique was used. Face to face interview was used to collect data. Nutritional status was determined by body mass index (BMI) recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) for Asian people. The socio-economic classification in this study was made according to 2006 Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and using the calculation of World Bank (WB). The mean (±SD) age of the respondents was 35.18±9.80 years. About three-fourth of them was male. Illiterate, primary and secondary level of education was 42%, 13% and 31% respectively. Farmer was 44% followed by service holder 32% and businessman 10%. About 86% respondents represented from lower-middle income (5360-21270 BDT) group. Normal, overweight and obese were 31.20%, 55.40% and 13.40% respectively. No statistical significant association was found between income and their nutritional status (p= 0.099 > 0.05). It is concluded that more than half of the respondents were overweight which may lead them non-communicable diseases.
Keywords: Nutritional status; Pangkhua ethnic community
Pangkhua is the 10th least minor ethnic group with a present population of nearly 3227. They mainly live in Chittagong Hill Tracts. CHT is thought economically underdeveloped and that is why numerous NGOs have already taken economic development programmers to improve the life of the ethnic minority groups [1]. Unlike other ethnic groups, modern lifestyle is not predominated to Pangkhua community due to their dwelling place in the middle of dense forest and hilly regions. They still rely mostly on the gift of the nature for their livelihood. Anthropometry is an important technique for identifying individuals, groups or communities whose growth is not keeping up with the expected pattern [2]. Malnutrition is a prevalent issue in all developing countries [3,4]. In our country this situation is more critical because of unbalanced diet and poverty stress. Nutritional status is a sensitive indicator of community health [5]. So if we want to fight against malnutrition first of all we have to know nutritional status.
A cross sectional study was undertaken to assess sociodemographic profile as well as nutritional status of Pangkhua ethnic community in Chittagong Hill Tracts. The study area was selected purposively. A total of 112 subjects were estimated. Purposive sampling technique was used. Face to face interview was used to collect data. Prior interview verbal consent was taken from both respondents and headman (community chief). We used body mass index (BMI) category as World Health Organization (WHO) recommended for Asian people [6]. For anthropometric measurements, height was measured with a standiometer and body weight was measured using a platform beam scale. We took three measurements and then counted mean of them. The socio-economic groups were low-income $75.41 or less (BDT ≤ 5360), lower middle-income $75.5 - $299.58 (BDT 5361-21270), upper middle-income $299.68 - $926.25 (BDT 21271-65761) and high-income $926.33 or more (BDT ≥ 65762) [7]. All interviewed forms were reviewed and individual questionnaire were checked and cleaned to avoid any possible mistakes.
The mean (±SD) age of the respondents was 35.18±9.80 years. About three-fourth of the respondents were male and one-fourth were female. Illiterate, primary and secondary level education completed 42%, 13% and 31% respondents. Farmer was 44% followed by service holder 32% and businessman 10%. About 86% respondents represented from lower-middle income (5360-21270 BDT) group (Table 1). Figure 1 shows normal, overweight and obese were 31.20%, 55.40% and 13.40%. Table 2 shows no statistical significant association was found between income and their nutritional status (p= 0.099 > 0.05).
Variables Number Percentage
Age (in years)
32 28.6
43 38.4
27 24.1
6 5.4
4 3.6
Mean ± SD
35.18 ± 9.80
87 77.7
25 23.3
47 42
15 13.4
35 31.2
6 5.4
7 6.2
Post graduate
2 1.8
1 0.9
49 43.8
9 8.0
11 9.8
36 32.1
6 5.4
Monthly Income(BDT)
Lower income <5360)
9 8.0
Lower-middle income (5360-21270)
96 85.7
Upper middle-income income (21271-65761)
7 6.2

Table 1: Socio-Demographic Characteristics (n=112).
Results are expressed as number (%) and M±SD.

Figure 1: Nutritional status of respondents (n=112).

Variables Nutritional status Total χ2 p value
Normal Overweight Obese
Lower income 2 (1.8) 6 (5.4) 6 (5.4) 9 (8.0) 7.800 0.099
Lower-middle 33 (29.5) 52 (46.4) 11 (9.8) 96 (85.7)
Upper-middle 0 (0) 4 (3.6) 3 (2.7) 7 (6.2)

Table 2: Association between income and nutritional status.

There is very little information available regarding the socio-demographic condition and nutritional status of Pangkhua ethnic community in Bangladesh. They are very minor group. It was very hard to reach them because they like to keep them separate. The present study was carried out to explore the scenario. The present study found nearly half of the Pangkhuas were involved in cultivation which showed similarity with Indian study [8]. Actually they practiced primitive cultivation technique that is called “Jume Cultivation” and they often depend on nature. Cultivation in hill is not so easy. Normal, overweight and obese were 31.20%, 55.40% and 13.40% in this study. Now gradually they are becoming habituate in Bengali food instead of traditional tribal diet and this is why half of the respondents were overweight. A study conducted among tribal groups residing in different parts of India and they found high prevalence of under nutrition which influences health and nutritional status in non-satisfactory level [10,11]. But in our country particularly in hilly area many donor agency are funding to improve nutritional awareness as well as nutritional status [11] of ethnic people. Finally, socio-demographic condition and nutritional status of Pangkhua ethnic community showed similarity with Haque., et al study [12].
No underweight was found. One third of the respondents were normal whereas more than half of the respondents were overweight and rest were obese. Further large scale study can be conducted to get more precise result.
  1. Hasan MT. “The Economic Frontiers and Minority Construction: The Case of the Khyang of Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh”. 9th International Academic Conference, Istanbul ISBN, IISES (2014).
  2. Website of UNDP: For REOPA:; cited 8/5/2012.
  3. Black RE., et al. “Where and why is Ten Million Children Dying Every Year?” Lancet Journal 361 (2003): 2226-2234.
  4. United Nation’s Children Fund. “Child Malnutrition Progress toward the World Summit for Children Goal”. New York: UNICEF (1993).
  5. Ghost S. “Child Malnutrition”. Economic and Political Weekly Journal 39 (2004): 4412-4413.
  6. WHO expert consultation. “Appropriate Body Mass Index for Asian Populations and Its Implications for Policy and Intervention Strategies”. Lancet Journal 363 (2004): 157-163.
  7. ANM Nurul Haque. “The Middle Income Matrix”. The Daily Star (2007).
  8. Chapola J. “Labour Migration, Inter-ethnic Relations and Empowerment: A Study of Khyang Indigenous Garments Workers, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh (2009)”. An MPhil thesis at Gender and Development, Department of Education and Health Promotion, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway.
  9. Bhasin MK and Jain S. “Biology of the Tribal Groups of Rajasthan, India: Body Mass Index as an Indicator of Nutritional Status”. Anthropologist Journal 9.3 (2007): 165-175.
  10. Patel R. “Comparative study of Health, Nutrition and hygiene among the Jaunsari Tribe of Uttarakand State and the Nicobarese of Tsunami-affected Car Nicobar Island in India”. 13th ASCON 116 (2011): 067.
  11. Nutritional Surveillance Projects (NSP) of Helen Keller International (HKI) and Institute of Public Health Nutrition (IPHN) in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
  12. Haque MM., et al. “Nutritional Status and Hygiene Practice Among Ethnic Communities in Selected Area of Bangladesh”. Bangladesh Journal of Nutrition 26 (2013-2014).
Copyright: © 2016  Md Monoarul Haque., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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