Navazo, BÃ¡rbara1,2; Oyhenart, Evelia Edith1,2; Dahinten, Silvia Lucrecia3,4
Introduction: The double burden of malnutrition constitutes a challenge for public health and an increasing problem in Latin America and the Caribbean. The population analysis of Puerto Madryn is interesting given that this city recorded since 1970 the highest demographic growth in Argentina. However, the reduction in the level of industrialization could have had an impact on the well-being of the inhabitants.
Objective: To determine the association between nutritional status and socio-environmental well-being in 6-14 yearold schoolchildren from Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina.
Methods: Weight and height were assessed in 2799 schoolchildren and the World Health Organization reference was used to determine: malnutrition, overweight and obesity. Prevalence between groups and sexes were compared with Chi-square. Family well-being was surveyed with questionnaires and analyzed with categorical Principal Component Analysis (cat-PCA).
Results: The cat-PCA differentiated two groups of well-being: major (MA) and minor (MI). The MA group was characterized by the presence of houses with brick walls and coated floors, accessibility to public services, health insurance (medical insurance at the expense of the employer or paid by the person) and parents with formal employment. In the MI group, houses had zinc-metal or wood walls, concrete or earthen floors, households were overcrowded, health care was provided by the assistance public hospitals and parents had informal employment. The prevalence of malnutrition was 2.6% and that of excess weight was 46.9%. The prevalence of overweight was higher than that of obesity (25.7% vs. 21.3%). Stunting and overweight were 2.1% and 3.6% higher in schoolchildren from the MI group.
Conclusion: The schoolchildren population from Puerto Madryn presents double burden of malnutrition, characteristic of an advanced stage of nutritional transition. The higher prevalence of stunting and overweight are associated with lower socio-environmental conditions. Nevertheless, obesity occurs independently of these conditions socio-environmental well-being.