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Yanomami children's nutritional status in the middle Rio Negro, Brazilian Amazônia

The nutritional status of 290 Yanomami Amerindians children, from birth to about six year-olds, living in the middle Rio Negro, Brazilian Amazonia, has been studied in 1998 and 1999 using the weight-for-height. All of them were of low stature. Twenty malnourished (7%), defined as below two standard deviations of NCHS' data, have been observed. Five of them showed a severe malnutrition (<= -3 SD). Differences appeared between the communities, however without evident connection with the practices of these groups and their contacts with the outside. These data indicate a lack of scarcity in this population who preserves a traditional way of life and disposes of a large space for gathering and hunting. The cases of malnutrition are probably a conjoined consequence of infectious attacks in children and of a special bad status in their group.

Nutritional status; Yanomami; Amazonia; Brazil; Epidemiology

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