BenÃtez HernÃ¡ndez, Zuliana1; De la Torre DÃaz, MarÃa Lourdes1; Cervantes Borunda, MÃ³nica1; HernÃ¡ndez Torres, Rosa Patricia1; CabaÃ±as Armesilla, MarÃa Dolores2; LÃ³pez-Ejeda, NoemÃ 2; MarrodÃ¡n Serrano, MarÃa Dolores2,3,4
Introduction: The Tarahumaras are a native people of the Sierra Madre Occidental, in the state of Chihuahua and one of the poorest in Mexico. The National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples maintains a food programme in school shelters to alleviate child malnutrition.
Objective: to analyse the adequacy of the diet that schoolchildren follow in the shelter and to compare it with what they have at home.
Methods: the sample is 50 schoolchildren of both sexes (age 9.78 ± 1.25 years) attending the “Ignacio León Ruíz Indigenous Shelter School” in Agua Zarca. A 24-hour reminder was applied at school and at home. The consumption of energy, macro and micronutrients was analyzed taking as a reference the recommendations for the Mexican population.
Results: energy and all-nutrient intake was higher at school meal (p < 0.001), but the proportion of subjects with deficient intake was for niacin (40%), folic acid (40%-55%), calcium (23.3%-35%), iron (35%), magnesium (55%) and zinc (80%). In households, up to 50% of boys and 83.3% of girls did not reach coverage for ascorbic acid, thiamin and riboflavin; between 70%-95% reported low sodium, magnesium and potassium intake. More than 50% were deficient in all micronutrients and no schoolchildren achieved coverage for calcium and zinc.
Conclusions: The shelters provide a qualitatively and quantitatively better diet than the home, but this is not enough to cover the needs of the schoolchildren.