einstein (São Paulo). 01/Dec/2011;9(4):508-13.

Malnutrition in school children in an urban-rural region of the extreme South of São Paulo city

Marcela Maria Pandolfi, Fabio Sandrini, Maurício Rocco de Oliveira, Jane de Eston Armond, Ana Cristina Ribeiro Zöllner, Yara Juliano, Patrícia Colombo de Souza

DOI: 10.1590/s1679-45082011ao2045

ABSTRACT
Objective:
To evaluate the persistence of nutritional deficit in a sample of schoolchildren.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study of 1,761 schoolchildren between 6 and 10 years from 3 schools. They were assessed by Z scores of weight for height and height for age, according to the World Health Organization. The variables studied were gender, age, grade and school year. The χ² test was used to relate the nutritional deficit with the variables.
Results:
Of all children 8.5% were malnourished according to the weight for height Z score, 21.6%, according to height for age. The analysis of the weight for height Z score revealed that 59.7% were male and 40.3% female. The mean age was 8.9 years. As to the Z score of height for age, 53.9% were males and 46.1% females. The risk of malnutrition was higher among boys: 59.7% for the weight for height index and 53.9% for height for age. There was no statistical difference between schools, gender and school year. As to nutritional status, school period (p < 0.0001) and students’ grade (p = 0.0105), we observed statistical significance.
Conclusion:
Malnutrition still persists among the low-income population and males had a higher percentage of malnutrition. Nutritional evaluation of students is an extremely important tool for understanding the dynamics of child nutrition and development.

Malnutrition in school children in an urban-rural region of the extreme South of São Paulo city

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