Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
GUGELMIN, Silvia A.; SANTOS, Ricardo V. and LEITE, Maurício S.. Physical growth of 5 to 10 year-old Xavante children in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2001, vol.77, n.1, pp.17-22. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.2223/JPED.104.
Objective: To investigate the physical growth of Xavante children aged 5 - 10 years and living at the Sangradouro and são Marcos reservations, state of Mato Grosso, central Brazil. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in February 1997 in two native Brazilian Indian schools. Our sample included 233 children. The following data were collected: birth date, sex, weight, height, arm-muscle circumference, and triceps skinfold thickness. Data on height and weight were compared to National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) growth charts following the recommendation of the World Health Organization. Results: Our results show that 9% of our population sample had height-for-age Z scores <-2. For boys, statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in height-for-age and weight-for-age Z scores were observed between the two communities. Similar differences were not observed for girls. Xavante children are, in average, shorter in height than North-American children. However, for some age groups, the average values of height overlap with those of the Brazilian children investigated by the National Research on Health and Nutrition (PNSN). Conclusions: The physical growth profile of Xavante children presented important differences when compared to that of a number of other South American native Indian populations. Based on the information collected, we argue that North-American curves can be used to evaluate the nutritional status of Xavante children.