Trends in the nutritional status of Salvadorian children: the post-war experience.Bull World Health Organ. 1996; 74(4):369-74.BW
This article examines trends in the nutritional status of children in EI Salvador between 1988 and 1993 (before and after the signing of a peace accord that ended the civil war.) The data derive from two national surveys, each of which included measurements of the height and weight of children aged 3-59 months. The prevalence of low weight-for-age (< -2 SD) dropped from 15% in 1988 to 10.5% in 1993. The prevalence of low weight-for-height (< -2 SD) was minimal in both surveys: falling from 3.9% to 2.9%. The prevalence of low height-for-age (< -2 SD) fell from 28.1% to 22%. These declines in malnutrition indicators resulted from an upward shift in the distributions of weight and height of children, not from thinner lower tails of the distributions. The quality of anthropometric data appears to be high for both surveys: < 1% of surveyed children had heights or weights outside the expected range. This analysis demonstrates the value of repeated surveys of nutritional status.