Background: Dental caries affects almost all age groups, but the presence of caries in young children is an important concern than that of elderly people. The present study was conducted to assess association between healthy eating index, body mass index and early childhood caries in school children. Materials & Methods: The present study was conducted on 230 school children of 5-7 years of both genders. Caries were recorded based on the WHO criteria (1997); decayed, missing, and filled teeth (dmft) scores were used to calculate caries experience. Healthy Eating Index (HEI) was recorded. Body mass index was assessed as BMI = Weight in kg/ Height in m. Results: 5 years had 85 children, 6 years had 80 and 7 years had 65 children. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). The mean dmft score of obese was 10.3, overweight was 10.5, normal had 7.9 and underweight had 4.3. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). The mean HEI of severe ECC children was 48.8 and in simple ECC was 53.0. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). Conclusion: Authors found positive correlation between BMI scores and ECC. There was higher rate of dental caries in overweight children. Diet was considered risk factor for dental caries and obesity.
Key words: Caries, healthy eating index, overweight.