Data on body weight, height, and sitting height from 11,496 adult males, age 18–62 years, belonging to 38 different populations of five major social groups (scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, “other backward castes,” general castes, and Muslims) of Central India were taken for our analysis to assess the nutritional status of these groups. Cormic index and body mass index (BMI) were computed, and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out among different populations as well as among social groups separately on Cormic index and BMI. Shape, size, and generalized distances among the different social groups were computed and dendro-grams were drawn. The level of malnutrition is the lowest among the general castes. The opposite is the case with the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Comparison of the coefficient of variation shows that there is variation in weight and BMI but that there is no marked variation in the other anthropometric variables. The ANOVA on Cormic index and BMI suggests that the people within a population are more homogeneous than the people between populations. There is a positive but statistically insignificant correlation between Cormic index and BMI. The five social groups differ more in size distance than in shape distance. According to the dendrogram of generalized distance values, the Muslims and the general castes can be grouped into one cluster and the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and other backward castes can be grouped into another cluster.
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Vol. 78 • No. 2