Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
BACALLAO, Jorge; PENA, Manuel and DIAZ, Adrián. Reducing chronic malnutrition among the disadvantaged populations to promote health and development. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.2, pp. 145-150. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000800009.
This article advances theoretical and conceptual arguments to justify efforts to reduce chronic malnutrition as a basic component of any strategy for promoting health and development in countries with a high malnutrition prevalence. The arguments rest on four cardinal principles of contemporary social epidemiology, in whose framework reducing chronic malnutrition would be a key strategic component: the social determinants approach, the life course as the clinical-epidemiological paradigm, the concept of heredity and population health, and recognition of the family as a social determinant. Added to these are the close association between nutrition, health, and development, on the one hand, and the political significance of any strategy that makes the fight against chronic malnutrition the most visible focus of programmatic action.
Keywords : malnutrition; health promotion; growth and development; socioeconomic factors.