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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787

Abstract

SANTOS, Leonor M.P. et al. Nutritional status of pre-school children of the semi-arid region of Bahia (Brazil): I. Anthropometric status. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1995, vol.29, n.6, pp.463-471. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101995000600007.

A survey of 754 preschool children was undertaken in the urban areas of seven small towns of the semi-arid region of Bahia, Northeast Brazil. The study set out to determine the prevalence of weight and height deficits, as well as to correlate them with variables such as age, family income, mother's schooling and food consumption. A prevalence of 22.9% of Height for Age (HA) below -2.0 SD was found (stunting) and prevalence of 19.1% and 3.6% were determined, respectively for Weight for Age (WA) and Weight for Height (WH) below -2.0 SD (wasting). Regarding food consumption, only 6.8% of the children received a diet with an adequate energy supply for their age group in the previous day. There was a close association between inadequate HA and WA and family income per capita (p=0.001 and p=0.000, respectively). Children from families with income < 1/4 of the minimum wage per capita had twice the chance of being malnourished as compared with those from the > 1/2 minimum wage per capita stratum. The children included in this study showed prevalences of inadequate WH and WA significantly higher than those found in a national survey conducted in the same period (p=0.047 and p=0.000 respectively). This fact is surprising since in the last decade important reductions in child malnutrition and mortality were reported in the country as a whole; this may indicate that children from this region probably were not benefited in the same way as the rest of the Brazilian child population.

Keywords : Anemia [epidemiology]; Hemoglobins [analysis].

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