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Pediatría (Asunción)

versão On-line ISSN 1683-9803


LEZCANO, Lidia  e  SANABRIA, Marta. Nutritional Profile of Children in a Food Distribution Program at Program Entry and after Six Months. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2010, vol.37, n.2, pp.118-122. ISSN 1683-9803.

Introduction: Adequate child nutrition is directly related to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The food program in Paraguay began implementation in 2005, targeting children under five years of age and pregnant women with nutritional deficits. Objective: To assess the nutritional status of boys and girls under age five belonging to the national food program in the District of Curuguaty, Department of Canindeyú, at entry and after six months of treatment. Materials and methods: Design: A retrospective observational study with an analytical component. Sample size: 657 children who presented at the Health Service in Curuguaty during 2006 were beneficiaries of the food program. Of this group, we selected 258 children (39.3%) who completed six months of treatment. Children who did not complete treatment in that period were excluded. Study variables were weight, height, age, sex, and origin. We used the cutoff points for malnutrition from programs established by the Paraguayan Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare in force in 2006 (NCHS curves). Parametric and nonparametric measures were used. Significance was defined as p <0.05. Results: 39.5% of the population was male and 60.4% female. Average age was 27.3 months (range 2-59 months) and 186 (72%) were under three years old. The prevalence of general malnutrition was 93.8% (n=242). Severe malnutrition was found in 9.3% (n=24). We found the prevalence of children at risk of malnutrition to be 45.7% (n=118) while acute malnutrition was found in 17% (n=44). The prevalence of chronic malnutrition was 35.6% (n=138). There was a statistically significant decrease in prevalence of children under age five suffering from malnutrition at 6 months of treatment (8.5%) compared to at start of program (26.4%)(p <0.01). The prevalence of children at risk of malnutrition had decreased from 56.2% to 42.6% at 6 months of treatment. Conclusions: A statistically significant decrease in the prevalence of malnutrition is shown at 6 months of treatment for children in the food program. The decrease in prevalence of children at risk for malnutrition was slight.

Palavras-chave : Nutritional status; child nutrition; malnutrition; feeding program; nutritional management; children.

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