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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

On-line version ISSN 1812-9528


ECHAGUE, Gloria et al. Malnutrition in indigenous and non-indigenous children under five years of age in rural areas, Paraguay. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2016, vol.14, n.2, pp.25-34. ISSN 1812-9528.

Children under five years of age are affected by the lack of adequate food faster than older individuals due to growth demands. The objective was to evaluate the nutritional situation of indigenous and non-indigenous children under five years living in rural communities. After obtaining the informed consent of their parents, 226 boys and girls under five years, 117 indigenous and 109 non-indigenous children, were evaluated using nutritional indicators of malnutrition by defect and excess. A questionnaire was applied to obtain information about social-demographic characteristics and dietary habits. In indigenous and non-indigenous children, the prevalences of global malnutrition were 2.4% and 2.6%, malnutrition risk 22% and 5.1%, chronic malnutrition 35.9% and 12.8%, overweight 28.9% and 12.9%. Frequent consumption of fruits was observed in both populations, followed by consumption of vegetable protein in indigenous population and animal protein in non-indigenous. 69.2% of indigenous children and 3.7% of non-indigenous children living in extreme poverty. The main nutritional problems found were chronic malnutrition, malnutrition risk and overweight. The most strongly affected children were the indigenous, who survive in difficult socio-economic conditions.

Keywords : nutritional disorders; poverty; anthropometry; child; preschool; Indians; South America; Paraguay.

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