Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
ESQUIVEL, Mercedes et al. Nutritional status of preschool children in Ciudad de la Habana between 1972 and 1993. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.1, n.5, pp. 349-354. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891997000500003.
Two anthropometric surveys of children and adolescents have been carried out in Cuba with national samples. A third study done in the province of Ciudad de la Habana provided information on the physical characteristics of the population in that area and a baseline for the periodic evaluation of its nutritional status. This article compares the weight and height results obtained in these surveys for children 0 to 5 years old who lived in this province with the international reference standards proposed by WHO. The results show that, despite the economic difficulties the country has faced, the prevalence of malnutrition is low. In 1993, the prevalence of low height-for-age was 3.1%; that of low weight-for-height, 0.4%; and that of low weight-for-age, 1.5%. Overweight was the most common type of malnutrition, with a prevalence of 5.2%. Between 1972 and 1993, the prevalence of chronic malnutrition fell 32.6%, acute malnutrition was reduced by 69.2%; malnutrition of all types decreased by 44.4%; and overweight fell 48.5%.