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Salud Pública de México

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Abstract

COSSIO, Teresa González-de et al. Child malnutrition in Mexico in the last two decades: prevalence using the new WHO 2006 growth standards. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2009, vol.51, suppl.4, pp. S494-S506. ISSN 0036-3634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342009001000004.

OBJECTIVE: To describe preschool malnutrition prevalence and trends in Mexican children for the 1988, 1999 and 2006 Mexican National Nutrition Surveys using WHO-2006 standards and National Center for Health Statistics/WHO (NCHS/WHO) references. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Prevalence of undernutrition (< minus 2 z-score for weight/age, height/age and weight/height) and overweight (> plus 2 z-score for weight/height) were calculated. RESULTS: Height/age and weight/height have increased over time (p< 0.05). Using WHO-2006 standards, stunting in children less than 5 years years old was 26.9%, 21.5% and 15.5% in 1988, 1999 and 2006, respectively; values for wasting were 6.2%, 2.1% and 2.0%, respectively. Wasting in the very young (< 6 mo) in 2006 is high (4.9%). Overweight increased from 1988 to 1999 (6.1% to 7.5%) and stabilized in 2006 (7.6%). Gaps among ethnic and socioeconomic groups have decreased over time. CONCLUSIONS: Stunting has decreased markedly but continues to be the main malnutrition problem. Overweight has emerged as a public health problem in the young. Lower NCHS/WHO estimates previously published underestimated true prevalence. Length deviations in attained height after 12 months indicate poor infant feeding practices, probably coupled with early infections. Results reinforce the need to improve the quality of nutrition programs and to promote adequate lactation and infant feeding practices in Mexico.

Keywords : child malnutrition; wasting; overweight; obesity; Mexico; WHO.

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