Nutritional status of the Andean population of Puna and Quebrada of Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina.Public Health Nutr 2008; 11(6):606-15PH
To assess the nutritional status of the Andean population of Puna and Quebrada of Humahuaca, Jujuy, using anthropometric measurements.
DESIGN AND SUBJECTS
A cross-sectional nutritional survey was carried out in a representative sample (n = 1236) of individuals from these regions. Children aged 2-9 years, adolescents (10-17 years) and adults (>or=18 years; pregnant and lactating women excluded) were considered. Height-for-age, weight-for-height and body mass index (BMI) were calculated in children and adolescents and compared with World Health Organization/National Center for Health Statistics/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reference standards using Z-scores or percentiles, in order to assess the prevalence of stunting, wasting/thinness and excess weight. In adults, BMI, waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip (WHR) ratio were used to identify obesity and central adiposity.
Stunting (height-for-age Z-score <-2 standard deviations) and obesity (BMI >or= 95th percentile) were found to be major nutritional problems in children and adolescents. Stunting was prevalent in 10.7% of children and 12.4% of adolescents; 8.2% of children and 3.5% of adolescents were obese. Adults were short (mean: 155.8 cm) and values of overweight (32.3%), obesity (18.3%) and central adiposity (mean WC: 86.5 cm) were high. Older adults and those with higher economic development showed higher prevalence of obesity and central adiposity.
The present population may be at the early stages of nutritional transition as symptoms of undernutrition and overnutrition coexist at the population level. These results suggest that rates of growth retardation may be decreasing owing to improved nutritional conditions; however, this could be accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of other diet-related chronic diseases.