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Revista de Saúde Pública

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


CARVALHO, Alice T; COSTA, Maria JC; FERREIRA, Luiz OC  and  BATISTA FILHO, Malaquias. Schoolchildren statural deficit cartography in Paraíba State, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.34, n.1, pp.3-8. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: The study is part of a project financed by the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Education of Brazil (Fundação de Assistência ao Escolar) which intends to evaluate the nutritional status of public schools students in order to estimate, giving emphasis to geographical aspects, the magnitude and distribution of statural deficit of this population in the Paraíba State, Northeastern Brazil. METHODS: Schoolchildren, aged 6-9 years and enrolled in the first grade inall municipalities of Paraíba state went through a height survey. We consider as statural deficit values below -2 standard deviations according to the anthropometric pattern of National Center of Health Statistics. RESULTS: A frequency of 14.5% of statural deficit was found in the whole state , as well as 18.7% in the semidesertic region (sertão), 13.8% in Agreste area, 11.9% in Borborema region and 10.9% in Mata zone. In rural area, the prevalence of statural deficit was higher (17.8%) than for those living in urban area (11.8%). CONCLUSIONS: The results reveal a process of inlanding of statural deficit, which contrasts with historical descriptions of the geographical distribution of this problem in the Northeastern region of Brazil.

Keywords : Body height; Nutrition surveys; Residence characteristics; Nutrition disorders; Nutritional dwarfism.

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