Revista de Nutrição
Print version ISSN 1415-5273
SOARES, Nádia Tavares and PARENTE, Walmara Gomes. Malnutrition and results of rehabilitation in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2001, vol.14, n.2, pp. 103-110. ISSN 1415-5273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-52732001000200003.
The purpose of this study was to characterize the malnutrition and the percentage of nutritional rehabilitation among children attended by the Assistance Program for Malnourished Child and Pregnant Woman at Nutritional Risk. The data was collected in one of the Health Units of the city of Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. The study was accomplished during the month of June 1999 by the analysis of all the records existent in the service. In global terms, the prevalence of malnutrition was identified as 30.0%, 33.6% and 8.6% according to the height/age, weight/age and weight/height index, respectively. According to the age group, malnutrition is higher among the 12-23 month-old children considering height/age index (15.0%) and weight/age index (16.4%), and among the 24-35 month-old children according to weight/height index (5.0%). The chronic malnutrition is the main nutritional problem evidenced. If the weight/age anthropometric index, which is used as a criterion for inclusion and exclusion of the children in the Assistance Program for Malnourished Child and Pregnant Woman at Nutritional Risk, was substituted by the weight/height index, most of the children (76.9%) would be classified as normal and would probably be discharged from the program. No matter what anthropometric index is used, the percentage of children rehabilitated is low. The data suggests that the Assistance Program for Malnourished Child and Pregnant Woman at Nutritional Risk needs to be re-evaluated.
Keywords : Infants and children nutritional status; protein-energy malnutrition; supplementary food programmes; nutritional rehabilitation.