Mariela GARRAZA1,2, E E OYHENART1,2
Introduction: The double burden of malnutrition can occur in a region, household or even in the same child. Within the same country there are variations in the prevalence of nutritional status according to the degree of urbanization and the socio-economic level. Urban population of the metropolitan area of Mendoza growth 11% during the intercensal period 2001-2010. This expansion of urban and cultivation areas took place in an unplanned way.
Objective: To analyze the nutritional status, body composition and proportion of children residing in the metropolitan area of Mendoza, specifically in the peri-urban area of the department of Guaymallén.
Methods: A cross-sectional anthropometric study was carried out in 1451 schoolchildren. The nutritional status, composition and proportion were evaluated using the NHANES III reference. The socio-economic and environmental variables were surveyed using a self-administered structured questionnaire.
Results: Were found 8.3% of undernutrition, 28.3% of excess weight, and 63.4% of adequate nutritional status. The 55.5% of the children with chronic malnutrition had shortened lower limbs. The analysis of body composition showed a reduction in the muscle mass of undernourished children, and also in children with excess weight or adequate nutritional status. Lastly, an increase in the adipose tissue was observed in children with adequate nutritional status and those with excess weight. Socio-economic and environmental analysis indicated low level of formal employment of the parents; and deficiencies in the access to public services i.e sewage system and piped gas.
Conclusion: The child population of Guaymallén presents a double burden of malnutrition, where excess weight prevails over undernutrition. The high stunting and the shortening of the lower limbs show that these children have been exposed to prolonged environmental stress to which is now added a decrease in muscle tissue.