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Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay

versión impresa ISSN 0004-0584versión On-line ISSN 1688-1249


ILLA GONZALEZ, MARTHA  y  HERWIG QUEIROZ, GRACIELA. Evaluación del estado nutricional de la población menor de cinco años, asistida a través de los servicios del Ministerio de Salud Pública . Arch. Pediatr. Urug. [online]. 2004, vol.75, n.3, pp.235-258. ISSN 0004-0584.

Summary A survey was carried out in a population of children up to 5 years old, all of them cared for at institutions controlled by the Ministry of Public Health. Minimal sample size was determined according to statistical methods for rate estimation. Sample stratification was done by area (Montevideo and the rest of the country) and by province. A total of 7.353 children aged 0 to 5 years, from all provinces, were evaluated for this study. Nutritional problems within this sample were quantified using anthropometric indicators such as height and weight, according to standard weight/age, height/age and weight/age criteria. Geographic areas were ranked according to prevalence of nutritional deficits, in order to identify priority areas. The presence of trends in nutritional problems was evaluated by comparing the results of this survey with information generated in previous years by SISVEN (Nutritional Surveillance System) in a similar population. Results validate the present type of study for the surveillance of nutritional status in a high-risk population. The use of Quetelet´s Body Mass Index in children 2 years old or older was evaluated. BMI/age percentile curves for each sex were constructed for a population of 10.931 girls and 10.874 boys followed by the SISVEN in the period 1987-2002, and subsequently compared with Quetelet´s BMI/age curves from the Center of Disease Control (USA). An adequate correspondence was found. The use of these curves is therefore deemed suitable for our population.  BMI appears to be rather more sensitive for the evaluation of prevalence of malnutrition and obesity in children from 2 to 4 years of age than traditional criteria and cutoffs. An evaluation of BMI use within all Ministry services could therefore bring important results.


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