[Assessment on nutritional status among children under 3 years using anthropometry in 40 counties of western China].Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi 2005; 26(3):177-81ZL
To assess nutritional status among children younger than 3 years in 40 counties of western China, using anthropometry.
With cross-sectional study and random sampling, a survey with a sample size of 7252 was conducted in 40 counties of western China on children under 3 years old. Height and weight were measured and nutrition status was evaluated with WHO/NCHS reference using Z scores.
SD of height for age (HA) and weight for age (WA) were 1.10 - 1.30 and 1.06 - 1.40, respectively and SD of WAZ for infants varied. The distribution of HA Z and WAZ shifted downward to 1 unit and 0.4 unit for distribution of weight for height (WHZ). The prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting were 23.0%, 22.6% and 7.5% respectively. The prevalence rates were low among those yourger than 3 months. Stunting and underweight increased sharply after 6 months and reached 20% - 30%. Significant correlation was found between underweight and stunting or wasting with coefficients of 0.815 and 0.636, respectively. No correlation was found between stunting and wasting.
The nutrition status adversely affected children as a whole but not only for individuals. There was a higher prevalence of malnutrition mainly on low height to children. Weight for age must be interpreted cautiously because of the inability of this indicator in distinguishing stunting and wasting just by itself. Assessment by anthropometry called for accurate information on age and measurement of height and weight.