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Terms used in Family Health Study: Definitions and Explanations

Purpose of family health study in undergraduate M.B; B.S curriculum
-In a real-life situation, the students get an opportunity to see the relationship between environment and health and the health hazards arising out of environmental conditions.
-They get to learn the assessment of housing and environmental conditions at the community level. They also get an opportunity to apply the community health concepts such as safe water, waste management, vector control, and housing standards.


“Pareek’s scale” (Tables 1 and 2) was developed by Pareek for calculating the SES of a family in a rural area. It consists of nine items—caste, occupation of the HOF, education of the HOF, level of social participation of the HOF, landholding, housing, farm power (animals), material possession, and type of family.

Methods of Dietary Survey

Dietary survey is done to assess the quantities of food items and nutrients consumed by the family or an individual. The nutrition composition is calculated using tables of nutritive value of common foods. These tables are given in the ICMR publication: Nutritive Value of Indian Foods.
There are various methods of dietary survey. Each is suitable for a different set of circumstances.

Concept of the “Consumption Unit”

When the food intake of a community or a group of people is to be measured, the practical problem that arises is that the group is constituted by individuals of various ages and sex groups. Each group has a different set of such groups.
To resolve this issue, it is usual to assess the needs of women and children in terms of those of the average man by applying appropriate coefficients of calorie consumption suggested for practical nutrition work in India.

Reference Indian Adult Man and Woman

A reference man: is
• Between 18 and 29 years of age
• Weighs 60 kg with a
• Height of 1.73 m and
• BMI of 20.3 and is
• Free from disease and physically fit for active work.
• On each working day, he is engaged in 8 hours of occupation which usually involves moderate activity.
• While not at work, he spends 8 hours in bed, 4–6 hours in sitting and moving about, 2 hours in walking, and in active recreation or household duties.
A reference woman: is
• Between 18 and 29 years of age

Types of Piped Water supply

There are two main systems of piped water distribution:
1. Intermittent water supply: Water is supplied only during fixed timings during the day.
2. Continuous water supply: Water is supplied throughout the day.
Most of the cities in India have intermittent supply of water. There are certain disadvantages of the intermittent water supply.
• Water may not be available immediately during an emergency.
• Consumers need to store water. This may lead to contamination of drinking water and potential for mosquito breeding.

Checking for Fly Breeding Sites in a Household

Breeding sites

Female flies deposit their eggs on decayed, fermenting or rotting organic material of either animal or vegetable origin.
1. Dung
Heaps of accumulated animal faeces are among the most important breeding sites for houseflies. The suitability of dung for breeding depends on its moisture (not too wet), texture (not too solid) and freshness (normally within a week after deposition).


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