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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557


SILVEIRA, Kátia B. R. et al. Association between malnutrition in children living in favelas, maternal nutritional status, and environmental factors. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2010, vol.86, n.3, pp.215-220. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of malnutrition in children living in substandard settlements (slums) of Maceió, AL, Brazil, with maternal nutritional status and environmental conditions. METHODS: Cross-sectional study involving a probability sample of 2,075 mothers (18 to 45 years) and their children (4 months to 6 years), living in the slums of the city of Maceió. First, we conducted a cluster analysis with the purpose of choosing the settlements and the administrative region of the city of Maceió with the lowest human development index. After this analysis, the 7th Administrative Region was designated for the study, including its 23 substandard settlements. Socioeconomic, demographic, anthropometric, and maternal and child health data were collected by means of household survey. The statistical analysis included the odds ratio of a child to be malnourished, and the univariate regression was used to check which maternal variables were associated with this malnutrition. RESULTS: Chronic malnutrition (-2 standard deviations/height for age) was found in 8.6% of children and was associated with mother's age and educational level, type of residence, number of rooms, flooring, water supply, and low birth weight (< 2,500 g) in children aged < 24 months. We also found an association between child malnutrition and maternal height. Such association was not observed regarding body mass index. CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of malnutrition observed in these settlements was related to social and environmental conditions and short maternal height, who had weight deficit or weight excess.

Keywords : Stunting; obesity; poverty.

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