Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
FERREIRA, Haroldo da Silva et al. Nutritional status of children ten years of age or under in a settlement organized by the "Landless Peasants' Movement" in Porto Calvo, Alagoas, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.13, n.1, pp. 137-139. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1997000100024.
This study describes the nutritional status of 357 children (0-10 years) living in Fazenda Conceição, an area occupied by the "Landless Peasants' Movement" and recently expropriated for land reform purposes by the Brazilian National Institute for Land Settlement and Agrarian Reform. The prevalence of nutritional deficits (Z < -2 standard deviations from the NCHS median anthropometric standard) relating to body- weight-for-age, height-for-age, and body-weight-for-height were the following, respectively: 19.6%, 39.8%, and 2%, thus higher than the figures published recently for the rural areas of the State of Alagoas as a whole (8.4%, 22.7%, and 1.3%). These findings suggest that children are these affected by dwarfism. Despite this condition being widely acknowledged as one of the most visible manifestations of malnutrtion in developing countries, it is important to stress that the concentration of land tenure, an integral part of the income-concentrating development model adopted by Brazil, is also a major factor in determining such a health profile. There is thus an urgent need for policy-makers to reallocate resources for immediate intervention in such farm communities, in order to reduce the dire consequences of a situation of this magnitude.
Keywords : Nutritional Evaluation; Anthropometry; Child Health; Rural Sociology.