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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


FAGUNDES, Ulysses; GARCIA OLIVA, Carlos Alberto  and  FAGUNDES-NETO, Ulysses. Evaluation of the nutritional status of Indian children from Alto Xingu, Brazil. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, n.5, pp.383-388. ISSN 0021-7557.

Objective: to evaluate the nutritional status and estimate body composition of Indian children from Xingu National Park (XNP), rain forest Amazon region, by using anthropometry and bioelectrical impedance (BI) tests. Methods: one hundred and sixty-four Indian children (89 girls and 75 boys) of unknown age were evaluated by means of anthropometry and bioelectrical impedance. Weight and height were used to calculate z-score for weight-for-height (W/H) index. Two equations based on the resistance values obtained from the bioelectrical impedance were used to determine body composition. The values obtained were compared to standard reference. Results: z-score median for weigh-for-height index was 0.59 (boys) and 0.46 (girls) (P=0.27), respectively. Among the children studied only 1.8% showed z-score W/H <-2 standard deviations (SD), and 3% showed z-score W/H >2 SD. Mean resistance values were 625.4+/-79.2 Ohms (girls) and 588.8+/-68.9 Ohms (boys) (P<0.01). The percentage of body composition values obtained for girls were 14.2% fat mass (FM) and 85.8% fat-free mass (FFM), and 11.7% (FM) and 88.3% (FFM). The values for the boys were 14.9% (FM) and 85.1% (FFM), and 10.3% (FM) and 89.7% (FFM). Conclusions: there were low rates of obesity and malnutrition, what leads us to believe that the nutritional status among the Indian children from XNP has been kept in good standard along the last three decades, even under some degree of the Western culture influence. The Indians' body composition enhanced the good nutritional status among the studied population. BI played an important role in the estimation of body composition in this field study.

Keywords : bioelectrical impedance; anthropometry; Indian children; nutritional evaluation; body composition.

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