Bustamante, MJ1,2; MartÃnez, JI1,2; Alfaro, EL1,2; SÃ¡nchez Ãlvarez, M3,4; Dipierri, JE2; Celia Tabera
Introduction: Alterations in the growth and/or development of children implies failure, not only on growth, but also in other aspects of child welfare. The characterization of this failure and an assessment of the nutritional situation is vital to identify risk factors.
Objective: To analyze the nutritional status of schoolchildren from Jujuy, between 4 and 9 years old, evaluated with Extended Anthropometric Failure Index and its relationship with geographical altitude, the different modalities of school food assistance and sex, in two moments of the school year.
Methods: Cross-sectional study. 5806 schoolchildren from Jujuy between 4 and 9 years old were evaluated, food-assisted by the School Dining Program in the province of Jujuy. Weight and height were recorded at two times of the school year and geographic height and gender were considered. Underweight, stunting, wasting and weight excess were determined and the Extended Anthropometric Failure Index was constructed. Descriptive statistics and prevalence were estimated. Comparisons and logistic regressions were made to assess the relationship between the variables.
Results: The “no failure” category presented the highest frequency in both measurements, followed by excess weight and stunting. Between measurements there was an average span of 5 months and at that time a reduction in total anthropometric failure, stunting + underweight, stunting and excess weight + stunting was observed. Differences in geographical altitude reflected that deficit malnutrition was higher in the highlands and malnutrition due to excess in the lowlands. In turn, only sex was related to anthropometric failure, being the probability higher in women.
Conclusions: This study suggests that school food assistance would have a positive effect on the nutritional status of schoolchildren, since it would reduce the risk of malnutrition due to eventual food insecurity in their homes.