Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
JACINTO-REGO, Suzie A . de Souza et al. The relationship between the human development index and nutritional variables in Brazilian children . Rev. salud pública [online]. 2008, vol.10, n.1, pp. 62-70. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642008000100006.
Objective This study was aimed at showing the relationship of the Human Development Index (HDI) in different areas of Brazil to body composition variable patterns, thereby indicating these variables' nutritional status and the suitability of their use. Material and Methods This was a descriptive, cross-sectional, comparative study. The sample consisted of male and female state school students aged 8 to 10 years old from 3 regions of Brazil . They were randomised according to region: south, n=(262 male, 251 female), northeast, n=(45 male, 35 female) and north, n=(96 male, 38 female). The protocols used were mass, stature, total skin-folding and body mass index (BMI). The HDI was taken from the United Nations' Development Programme. One-way ANOVA (parametric data) and the Kurskal-Wallis test (non-parametric data) were used for comparative, descriptive and inferential statistical analysis. A p<0.05 significance level was adopted (i.e. 95 % probability of affirmatives and/or negatives denoted during the investigation). Results The results revealed a p<0.0001 significant difference regarding the variables being investigated. Conclusions Using anthropometry as an auxiliary tool for ascertaining infants' body composition can help in the early treatment and prevention of nutritional disorders such as malnutrition and obesity. It can form part of public policy linked to infant assistance, using efficient and simple means for preventing public health problems.
Keywords : Nutritional disorder; obesity; children.