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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 247-251

Prakriti (constitution of body) and nutritional status in children: An exploratory study

Department of Kaumarabhritya, SDM Institute of Ayurveda and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Reena Kulkarni
Department of Kaumarabhritya, SDM Institute of Ayurveda and Hospital, Anchepalya, Bengaluru 560074, Karnataka.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jism.jism_79_21

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Introduction: Prakriti (constitution of body) signifies individuality and determines the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. It is a unique trait that is specific to individuals and it is determined at conception based on the predominance of dosha. Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja, Vata pitta, Pittakapha, Kaphavata, and Sannipataja are the seven types of Prakriti described in the classics. Nutritional status is the reflection of the quality of health as a result of a nutritious diet consumed and its optimum utilization in the body. prakriti influences individuals’ nutritional status via digestion; their metabolism; and also their physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of prakriti on the nutritional status of children aged 5–10 years. Materials and Methods: Children aged 5–10 years visiting an Ayurveda hospital for a routine health checkup were screened with a standard prakriti questionnaire. Their nutritional status was assessed in terms of their height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and BMI. Prakriti in relation to nutritional status was analyzed by using SPSS 20. Results: Among the 573 children screened, 22 children (3.8%) were of Vata prakriti, three children (0.5%) Pitta prakriti, 31(5.4%) Kapha prakriti, 97 (16.9%) Vata pitta, a maximum of 260 (45.3%) Vatakapha, and 160 (27.9%) Pittakapha prakriti. On analysis of nutritional status, 85 children were observed to be malnourished (14.8%), 125 underweight (21.8%), 215 normal (37.5%), 62 overweight (10.8%), and 86 obese (15.1%). Conclusion: The majority of children belonged to Dwandwa prakriti, especially Kapha dominant. Most children with Kapha dominance were well nourished and had a tendency of being overweight as compared with others. Children with Pitta predominant Prakriti were moderately nourished and had excellent metabolic activity, leading to a less chance for being overweight. Nutritional status correlates well with the Prakriti descriptions.

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