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Revista Brasileira de Cineantropometria & Desempenho Humano
On-line version ISSN 1980-0037
GUEDES, Dartagnan Pinto and MENDES, Ricardo Rodrigues. Physical growth and nutritional status of schoolchildren from Valley of the Jequitinhonha, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Rev. bras. cineantropom. desempenho hum. [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.4, pp. 363-376. ISSN 1980-0037. http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1980-0037.2012v14n4p363.
The study analyzed physical growth and nutritional status in a representative sample of schoolchildren from the Jequitinhonha Valley region, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A total of 5100 subjects (2730 girls and 2370 boys) aged 6 to 18 years were included in the study. Nutritional status of the under-10 group was assessed by z < -2 for weight-for-height and height-for-age (undernutrition) and by z > +2 for weight-for-height (overweight). For children over 10, the 5th and 85th percentiles of weight for age were used to assess underweight and overweight respectively, according to World Health Organization recommendations. Prevalence rates of overweight and obesity according to the International Obesity Task Force criteria were also calculated. The data showed a prevalence of undernutrition below the expected level for the reference population (girls, 1.2%; boys, 3.9%). The prevalence of overweight was approximately 13% for girls and 6% for boys, and obesity was 2% for both sexes. In short, the results indicated a low prevalence of undernutrition and a high prevalence of overnutrition. This shows an urgent need for implementation of educational intervention programs geared to the improvement of physical activity and appropriate dietary habits in this population.
Keywords : Adolescents; Anthropometry; Children; Obesity; Overweight; Undernutrition.