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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X


BARROSO, Gabriela dos Santos; SICHIERI, Rosely  and  SALLES-COSTA, Rosana. Factors associated with malnutrition in children living in food insecurity households. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2008, vol.11, n.3, pp.484-494. ISSN 1415-790X.

OBJECTIVE: The influence of socioeconomic and health indicators on the nutritional status was evaluated in a probabilistic sample of children aged 6 to 30 months, living in Duque de Caxias - Rio de Janeiro. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of a probabilistic household sample comprised of 1,085 households. The total size sample was 402 households with children. The analysis of the nutritional status included weight and lengh/stature. Anthropometric indexes weight-for-age (WAZ), length-for-age (HAZ) and weight-for-length (WHZ) expressed in z-scores were used to evaluate nutritional status. Logistic regression and a hierarchical approach were used to identify socioeconomic factors (basic and intermediate determinants) and health of children (immediate determinants) associated with nutritional status of infants. RESULTS: The prevalence of malnutrition was 2.8%, 8.6% and 3.3% for the WAZ, HAZ and WHZ indexes, respectively. Per capita family income was significantly associated with WHZ. Low birth weight was strongly associated with low HAZ and WHZ indexes, regardless of income and other basic and intermediate determinants. CONCLUSION: Low birth weight was the most important factor associated with nutritional deficit in children. Actions aiming to reduce low birth weight can contribute to reverse malnutrition in populations in which social inequality persists.

Keywords : Socioeconomic indicators; Nutritional status of children; Low birth weight and food insecurity.

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