Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrición

Online ISSN: 0004-0622
Publications
Article
Data from a household expenditure survey of 1,200 Manaus families performed by the Amazonas State Government in 1973-74 are analyzed by income group. The per cent frequency of families buying different foods and the daily per capita consumption of each were calculated. The daily per capita intakes of energy, protein, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, ascorbic acid, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc were estimated and their adequacy evaluated. In contrast to the south and northeast of Brazil, the main bulk of the diet was derived from cereals and fish. The quantities of eggs, meats, fruit and vegetables consumed per person, increased 50-100% as income improved, whereas fish consumption decreased 30%. The nutrients quantitatively most deficient were zinc, vitamin A, calcium, thiamine and riboflavin, with 60-80% of low and middle income families not achieving safe levels of intake for zinc and vitamin A. The beneficial effect of income on the adequacy of calcium, thiamine and riboflavin intake was quantitative. For zinc and vitamin A, increased income was associated with a qualitative improvement in the diet, principally due to the increased consumption of meat and liver. These results are discussed in relation to existing clinical evidence of deficiency states in the region.
 
Article
The effect of the popping process on the chemical composition, on lysine and tryptophan and on the in vitro protein digestibility of eleven sorghum varieties was evaluated. The popping of the grain was conducted in a popcorn popper previous adjustment of conditions. There were statistically significant differences in chemical composition both, in the raw grain and in the processed grain. The chemical composition was affected by the process and with the exception of protein content, it reduced the content of ether extract (3.43 to 2.75%) and increased significantly the level of crude fiber (2.47 to 4.45%). The concentration of available lysine and of tryptophan in the raw grain was reduced significantly by the process, with lysine losses of 9 to 57% and for tryptophan of 26 to 64%. A decrease was also observed in amylose as percentage of starch. In a number of samples the popping process significantly reduced in vitro protein digestibility.
 
Article
In the present study, 11 maize varieties were analyzed for their nixtamalization cooking quality. The 11 varieties were grown in the same locality and in the same year. The samples were evaluated for their physical characteristics, such as moisture content averaging 13.3%, average 1000 kernel weight (312.5 g), grain hardness through density (1.28 g/ml) and percent floaters (9.5%). These data indicated that all maize varieties had a hard endosperm which is recommended for the nixtamalization cooking process. The 11 varieties were formed on the average by 5.7% seed coat, 11.5% germ and 82.8% endosperm. The low seed coat content suggest a low solids loss during processing. Cooking quality evaluation was done by applying a standard lime cooking procedure to all varieties. An average solid loss of 3.2% was measured, with 0.8% of seed coat still attached to the endosperm. Water absorption at the end of cooking was 40.8% without soaking and 46.9% at the end of soaking. Nixtamal moisture was 47.9% after soaking and only 41.5% at the end of cooking. Cooking time with soaking for 50% moisture in the grain varied from 69 to 122 minutes at 1500 meters over sea level. The cooked grain was dried with hot air and ground however, the particle size obtained was not as that in commercial nixtamalized maize flour. However, the cooking quality parameters to make dough and tortillas were acceptable, with a penetration index of hydrated flour of 178.6 mm, pH 7.97, water absorption index (WAI) of 3.23 g gel/g flour and 4.11% water solubility index (WSI). All flours from the 11 varieties of maize gave acceptable tortillas as evaluated by physical characteristics and sensory quality. However of the 11 varieties 7 including the control were superior for nixtamalization cooking quality.
 
Article
The objective of this study was develop a snack product based on fried beans. For this purpose, three bean varieties were used: Pinto 114, Suave 85 and Tórtola Inia. The beans were treated with two soaking solutions, EDTA disodium salt and a mixture of NaOH/water, to determine if they had some effect on the product's final quality. On the other hand, before the beans were fried, some grains were given thermal treatment (blanched), leaving the other ones without this process (raw); this also had an effect on the final quality of the fried beans. Physical, chemical and sensory characteristics of the final fried products were determined. For three beans varieties, the blanched products had higher water content, higher oil absorption, lower protein content and larger water activity. The soaking solutions had no effect on the quality of manufactured products. The sensory analysis determined that the best treatment for Pinto 114 and Tórtola Inia was NaOH/water-raw grain, and EDTA raw grain for Suave 85.
 
Article
The purpose was to identify risk factors associated to deficit on linear growth in children from a semi-rural population in Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico. In a cross sectional study 432 children, 12 to 120 months old were included. Social, demographic, economical, dietetic and pathological characteristics and deficit in the height/age index (< - 1 and - 2 z score) were considered. A chi square test and Odds Ratio (CI 95%) to identify the risk and protection factors were also obtained. Risk factors for height/age deficit were: > 3 children in the family [OR 1.71 (1.01, 2.87)], soft drinks consumption > 4 times a week [OR 2.36 (1.19-4.73)], family's monthly income < 200 USA dollars [OR 3.5 (1.28, 9.76)] and per capita food expenses < 10% of a minimum salary (100 USA dollars a month) [OR 1.81 (1.06, 3.09)]; age < 24 months [OR 2.02 (1.09, 3.75)], adding sweeteners to the bottle [OR 8.56 (1.84, 54.9)], diet modification during diarrhea [OR 2.40 (1.02, 5.77)], milk intake < 4 times a week [OR 2.71 (1.55, 4.73)] and nearly significant, bean consumption [1.75 (0.98, 3.13). Protection factors: nuclear family [OR 0.28 (0.09, 0.85)] and an adequate infant formula dilution [OR 0.71 (0.60, 0.85)]. In multivariate models associated factors to deficit of height were higher consumption of soft drinks, beans and the addition of sweeteners to the bottle. In addition to socioeconomic variables, lower consumption of high quality food and proteins and higher intake of legumes were important risk factors for mild and moderate deficit height/age.
 
Article
Adverse levels of serum lipids tend to persist over time into adolescence and young adulthood, underlying the progression of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Therefore, the lipid profile of Costa Rican adolescents and its relationship with dietary intake, physical activity and Body Mass Index (BMI) was evaluated in a total of 322 adolescents ages 13-18 years from urban and rural areas of San José, Costa Rica. Levels of Total Cholesterol (TC) and HDL-C (High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol) were significantly higher in urban adolescents than in rural youngsters. No differences were found between LDL-C (Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol) and triglyceride levels among urban and rural adolescents. TC, HDL-C and LDL-C levels were higher in females than in males. The mean LDL/HDL ratio was 2.3 with no differences between gender and area. Over 20% of adolescents showed borderline TC levels (4.42-5.17 mmol/L) and 10% borderline LDL-C levels (2.86-3.35 mmol/L). The proportion of females with borderline TC and LDL-C was higher than the proportion of males. No differences were found between areas. Around 50% of adolescents showed borderline HDL-C levels (0.91-1.17 mmol/L) and over 55% presented borderline triglyceride level (1.02-1.46 mmol/L). The prevalence of borderline and high triglyceride levels (> or = 1.47 mmol/L) between urban and rural adolescents was similar. However the prevalence of high triglyceride levels was higher in females (22%) than in males (14%). An independent positive relationship was found between LDL-C, triglyceride, the cardiovascular fitness score and BMI. Likewise a negative relationship was found between cardiovascular fitness, BMI, gender and HDL-C. This study suggests that primary prevention programs are required to decrease the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among Costa Rican adolescents.
 
Article
Calcium intake is one of the most important predictors of the amount of bone mass gained during growth. Therefore, this study was designed to estimate the dietary calcium intake of Costa Rican urban and rural adolescents ages 13-18 years old. Calcium dietary intake was determined using prospective 3-d diet records. Two-thirds (or 66.7%) or less of the Adequate Intake (AI) was used as the criterion for inadequate calcium intake as suggested by several authors. Reported mean daily calcium intake was 573 mg +/- 290. On average 82% of the adolescents did not meet two-thirds of the Al for calcium. A higher percentage of rural than urban youngsters reported inadequate calcium intake (92% and 75% respectively, p = 0.000). Likewise a higher percentage of girls (91%) than boys (77%) reported marginal calcium intake. This study shows evidence that nutritional interventions and educational strategies are urgent for increasing calcium consumption among adolescents in order to reduce the future burden of osteoporosis in old age.
 
Article
The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of germination on the minerals constituents (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, manganese and zinc) of soybean. For the assays the soybean cultivars-Glycine max (L) Merril-BR-13 and Paraná were used. These were germinated in camera of germination at 25 degrees C and 100% of moisture, from 0 to 72 hours, collecting the samples in intervals of 6 hours. The analysis of variance and comparison among the means indicated that the minerals constituents remained constant up to 72 hours of germination.
 
Article
The interest in Helicobacter pylori has escalated in recent years. H. pylori may produce a chronic gastric infection which is usually life-long and many epidemiological studies have shown that this is the most common bacterial infection throughout the world involving 50% of the world population. Thus, it is clear that the diagnosis of H. pylori infection represents at least a key step in the management of many of the patients referred to the gastroenterologist. Additionally, due to the wide range and relevance of pathologies possibly related to this infection, from micronutrient malnutrition and co-infections to malignancies, there is the potential for H. pylori to be a major health problem. Improved methods for the diagnosis and follow up treatment of the infection have been developed. Use of stable isotopes as non-invasive and safe diagnostic methods, namely (13C) breath tests, has been the key to a new era of research in H. pylori epidemiology and diagnosis as well as the establishment of eradication therapies. This non-invasive nuclear technique, that is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of this bacterial infection, has successfully been standardized and implemented along Latin America. Taking into account the high prevalence of this bacterial infection, the impact of this technique in the whole region is very high. In this article we discuss several aspects of this methodology in order to harmonize the application of this method in developing regions.
 
Article
Helicobacter pylori infection (Hp) is widely spread around the world, and it is considered one of the main causes of chronic gastritis, peptic and duodenal ulcers, and gastric cancer. Recent research has shown that it can be associated with nutritional disorders, mainly with iron and other micronutrient deficiencies. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of Hp infection, and infection pattern according to age, sex, nutritional status, and socioeconomic conditions in children who attended the Unidad Educativa "Valentin Espinal" in the city of Valencia. 170 children, between 3 and 14 years of age were studied to assess Hpylori infection (13C-urea breath test), age, nutritional status according to BMI and Height for age, hemoglobin (cianometahemoglobin), serum ferritin (ELISA), socioeconomic status (Graffar-Méndez-Castellano), housing conditions, number of families and of people cohabitating in the same household, and quality of services. 78.8% of the children were infected with Hp, witch was significantly correlated with age but not gender. 25.9% of the sample had undernutrition, and 46.5% were stunted. 98.1% of the families lived in poverty, and 98% of the households showed sanitary deficiencies. A mean of 6.0 +/- 2.4 persons lived in each household (range: 2-15), and an average of 3.2 person shared bedrooms. The odds of being infected were higher in those children who were stunted. Also, socioeconomic status, mother's education level, and poor hosing conditions were significantly associated to being infected. Hpylori is highly prevalent among socially and economically deprived children, and age, overcrowding, and a low education level of the mother increases the risk of being infected.
 
Article
Some individuals with functional limitations or in some clinical or field areas have troubles to get stature and body weight measurement done. It does exist the alternative of estimating these variables from measurements of body segments like knee height (KH) and mid arm circumference (MAC). Of a sample of 113 healthy Venezuelan children, both sexes, 9 to 14 years of age, equations suggested by Ross Laboratories for estimating stature and body weight were applied. It was concluded that the need for an adjustment was evident which done using multiple regression analysis. This allowed us to generate estimated stature an weight by KH and MAC tables, for Venezuelan children.
 
Article
Results from a nutritional assessment are presented to establish the usual food consumption pattern of 438 children between 4-14 years of age, from a low income urban community in Valencia, Venezuela. Food intake data were collected through multiple 24 hours recalls and converted to individual food item weight in grams. Amounts of energy, macronutrients, iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C were estimated to compare them to national references. The food pattern was established according to intake frequency per food item and per food groups. Arepa was the most commonly consumed food item, and a main source of kilocalories, protein, carbohydrates, iron, and vitamin A. Unlike coffee, fruits were not among the most commonly consumed foods. Black beans were the main source of protein. Cookies and sodas were among the major sources of energy. Energy and nutrient intake were adequate, except for calcium (67% in preschoolers y 43% in school-aged children). Preschoolers' diet showed a better adequacy for all nutrients (p < 0.005), except for iron which was significantly higher in school-aged children. Since children below 15 years old are still forming food behaviors and habits, they are an ideal group to develop nutritional education strategies to modify harmful patterns such as high intake of sodas, and low intakes of calcium rich foods.
 
Article
PIP This article overviews the papers presented at a session of the International Population Conference of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population devoted to the determinants of changes in late fetal, infant, and child mortality. A strong negative association of maternal and paternal educational level and infant and child mortality was reported; however, it was recognized that this association may be spurious since education is also associated with cultural and socioeconomic variables. Improved utilization of health services may be 1 of the mechanisms through which education influences mortality. In addition, women with low levels of education tend to be of lower socioeconomic status, in turn associated with infant mortality risk factors such as delays in seeking prenatal care, short stature, poorer health, work during pregnancy, and inadequate nutrition. Other papers focused on the impact of specific interventions on infant and child mortality, e.g. family planning, tetanus immunization, and oral rehydration therapy. It was noted that technology successful in pilot studies aften fails when implemented in larger population groups. It was suggested that integrated primary health care programs with a strong education component and utilization of paramedical personnel may be most effective in reducing infant and child mortality. The application of the principles of social learning theory, which seeks to modify behavior through participant modelling and reinforcement, should be explored. Also essential is attention to the social and economic context that influences and constrains maternal and child health. Finally, a need for analyses of mortality rates by categories of functional groups (e.g. occupation of father) was noted.
 
Article
The berbigão Anomalocardia brasiliana is a marine shellfish which is commoning consumed in the coastal region of Santa Catarina. However, there are limited available data on the composition of their fatty acids and sterols. The objetive of this study was to determine the lipid composition of the berbigão from Reserva Extrativista Marinha de Pirajubaé (REMAPI), Florianópolis/SC, Brasil, during the autumn and spring. The total lipid content was 1.21g% and 0.72g% in the autumn and spring, respectively. Several fatty acids were identified and quantified, including 20 fatty acids, 6 saturated (14:0, 15:0, 16:0, 17:0, 18:0, 20:0), 4 monounsaturated (16:1, 17:1, 18:1, 20:1) and 10 polyunsaturated (18:2, 18:3, 18:4, 20:2, 20:3, 20:4, 20:5, 22:4, 22:5, 22:6). There was a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids in total than saturated and monounsaturated, regardless of season: 40.7% of polyunsaturated, 30.8% of saturated, 17.2% of monounsaturated in the autumn and 39.7% of polyunsaturated, 27.7% of saturated, 13.7% of monounsaturated in the spring. The cholesterol corresponded to a value of 94.38 mg% in the autumn and 76.75 mg% in the spring. Among the sterols were found campesterol, estigmasterol and beta-sitosterol, but in lower quantities than cholesterol. These results showed that the berbigão was not a significant source of lipids, revealing low levels of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol. Berbigão is recommended for daily consumption as part of a healthy diet due to it is safe levels of fats and cholesterol.
 
Article
A transversal study was carried out with 101 18-to 24-month old infants, attended at public health services in Viçosa, MG, Brazil, The objective of this study was to verify the prevalence and factors associated to anemia and iron deficiency among infants. Data were obtained by interviews of the infants' parents or guardians at their households. Hemoglobin and ferritin analyses were peformed using an automatic counter and the immunometric dosage method, respectively. Feces samples were analyzed by the Hoffman, Faust and Ritchie methods. Anemia was characterized by hemoglobin concentration and iron deficiency by ferritin. For dietary practice, the 24-hour recall was used. Linear regression and logistics analyses were conducted to evaluate the variables associated to hemoglobin and iron deficiency, respectively. Anemia, iron deficiency and intestinal parasite prevalences were 30.1; 38.4, and 21%, respectively. The number of household members, age infants were introduced to juices/or fruit, mother's level of instruction, and total breastfeeding period were associated to the levels of hemoglobin plasma. The associated variables for iron deficiency were milk consumption near meals and number of household members.
 
Article
The objective of the present work was to study functional and thermal properties of reineta (Brama australis) frozen meat, analysed by water retention capacity (WRC), gel forming capacity (GFC), texture, emulsifying capacity and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). For this study, reineta fillets were obtained and extracted by the same conditions, and cutted, packaged, frozen and stored at -18 degrees C and -30 degrees C for 7 months. The results obtained, showed that there were no signifficant differences in the responses to thermal treatment for all the specimens. For samples frozen at -18 degrees C and -30 degrees C, the protein contents were 23.5 + 0.0 and 25.4 + 1.0%, respectively. The WRC values were 0.45 + 0.1 and 1.59 +/- 0.0 g water/g protein, respectively. The gel forming capacity was only present in the fresh samples, whereas the frozen stored ones only form protein aggregates. The emulsifying capacity was between 960 and 1400 g oil / g protein, and the storage time increased this value. The miosin denaturation temperature (Td) and denaturation enthalpy (?H), obtained by DSC, fluctuated between 39.2 +/- 0.5 to 44.8 +/- 0.8 degrees C and 1.12 +/- 0.3 to 0.52 +/- 0.2 J/g, respectively. The actina values were between 71.0 +/- 0.6 to 75.3 +/- 0.5 degrees C and between 0.5 +/- 0.1 to 0.7 +/- 0.1 J/g. Cooperativity decreased as the storage time increased. This is showing a certain degree of protein displacement. The values found by thermal analyses showed a direct relationship with the functional properties, both decreasing with storage time.
 
Article
Mean adult height is an indicator of very long-term (centuries) socioeconomic and nutritional trends in homogeneous populations. At the same time, changes in height have also been shown to be an indicator of long-term (generations) living conditions in homogeneous populations, and thus, a good complement to the usual anthropometric indicators of the medium--and short-term changes. Existing data on rural Bolivia confirm that there has been no significant improvement in health, sanitation and, especially, nutritional conditions in the Aymara and Quechua regions since Bolivia's independence (1825), and that living conditions have rather deteriorated in Amazonia (Beni). From a comparison of generational changes in height it is inferred that during the last several decades, and that conditions have probably worsened for the Quechua population environmental conditions appear to have remained the same for the Aymara population. On the other hand, some recovery in the Amazonia and improvement in the Chaco populations are apparent.
 
Article
The authors carry out a research focused on the quantification and analysis of the main changes in feeding and nutrition in Venezuela between 1970 and 1992. Such research started with the review and adjustment of the Food Balance Sheets (Hojas de Balance de Alimentos) elaborated by the Instituto Nacional de Nutrición (National Nutrition Institute) between 1970 and 1979 in order to homogenize them in a methodological way to make them similar to those elaborated by that institution and the Fundación Polar for the 1980-90 period. Estimates were made about the daily and per person availability of food for human consumption (DCH) for 1991 and 1992. This report, a partial product of that research, characterizes the evolution of the lipidic DCH in Venezuela for the 1970-1992 period. This period has been divided in seven stages of the evolution of the total energetic DCH, as this reflects well the course of the daily and per person Food Purchasing Power (PCA); there is a direct and strong functional relationship between these two variables. Along those stages the behaviour of the lipidic DCH is studied and we try to view possible relationships between the evolution of the Venezeluans economical situation and the absolute and relative variations observed in the level and the structure of the lipidic DCH. This structure is analyzed from several points of view: groups of food sources, origin, "visibility", and place of origin. One purpose is to determine also which food groups are mainly responsible for the venezuelan's external lipidic dependence. A general picture of the evolution of the DCH for saturated fatty acids and cholesterol is made, as well as of the variations experienced by the P/S and M/S relationships. It was found that the most dynamic elements, those that can explain a very high percentage of the variations observed in the level and the structure of the lipidic DCH were: the groups of foods of Visible Fats, Milk and dairy products, and Meats; vegetal lipids; vegetal-visible and animal-invisible lipidic fractions; imported lipids or lipids of food products which raw materials were imported (oily raw materials to make oils and edible solid fats, and raw materials to make food for poultry and hogs). The importance of the food groups Visible Fats, Milk and dairy products, and Meats, as sources or saturated fatty acids in the diet of the Venezuelans was made evident (89-91% of the respective total DCH), as well as the importance of the food groups Eggs, Meats, Fish and Seafood, and Milk and dairy products, as sources of cholesterol (82-89% of the available total). It was found that the lipid-originated calories account for less than 30% of the total energetic DCH; saturated fatty acids account for less than 10% of the available calories/person/day; the DCH for cholesterol did not reach the level of 300 mg/p/d; the P/S and M/S relationships remained close to 1. These last four facts are considered favorable for the health of the human being.
 
Article
Four groups of rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) each with 60 females with an average body weight of 467 g were submitted to an aleatory assay in order to compare the efficiency of four diets containing different concentrations of carotenoid pigments, and to determine if pigment concentration and source had an influence on female gonad development and oocyte maturity. The first diet was the non-pigmented control (C). The second diet contained 100 mg kg(-1) of Carophyll Pink (CR). The third and fourth diets contained 200 (RC200) and 250 (RC250) mg kg(-1) of saponified red chili oleoresin, respectively. The results indicated significant differences (p < or = 0.05) between C and RC250, with respect to the gonado-somatic index (IGS), average gonad weight (PG) and average diameter of oocyte (DO), with CR250 showing higher IGS, PG and DO values. Treatments CR and CR200 presented similar values. At the end of the experimental period, only 10% of oocytes were mature in the RC250 diet.
 
Article
The aim of this study was to know the price changes of foods and nutriments in México during the last three decades. To this end, two sets of data were analyzed: the National Consumer Prices Index for 1973 to 2003, and quotations of food prices for 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2004. Cost estimates were calculated for 100 kcal, 10 g of saturated fat, 100 mg of cholesterol, 10 g of fiber and 1 mg of iron. Regression models were used to analyze the association between nutrient and energy's costs and energetic and nutrimental densities. Our results lead to infer that that in M6xico, the structure of foods prices differed between the eighties and the nineties decades. In the former, vegetables and corn and wheat derived foods had the lowest price increment, whereas their price had the largest increment in the following decade. On the other hand, the prices of fresh meat of cattle and pig, and of fish and seafood rose during the eighties but became cheaper during the nineties. The differences in prices of the meat are inversely related to their energy density and nutrimental value: lean meat became more expensive that those with more fat (i.e., more energy and cholesterol). Canned fish (tuna and sardine), eggs and poultry became cheaper at the turn of the eighties. The prices of the majority of oils and fats have increased less than the inflation of the group of food. Processed and industrialized foods became cheaper than the fresh ones. The energy density of the foods is negatively correlated to their cost. The implications of our results are discussed in terms of public policies.
 
Article
The 1973 FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Energy and Protein Requirements has recommended two methods to adjust the safe level of protein intake according to protein quality: chemical score and net protein utilization (NPU). However, the effect of protein concentration on protein utilization is not considered. The results of the present work, as well as those obtained by other investigators, show that there is an inverse relationship between protein concentration and protein utilization. The net protein utilization (NPU) at 10% of protein-calories or the chemical score adjusted by the nitrogen digestibility can be applied when results are to be projected to national average diets, which have values ranging between 9 and 13%. When it is necessary to evaluate the diet of specific relatively homogeneous population groups, the recommended method should use the NPU determined or calculated in each meal considering the level of protein concentration of the diet as eaten (NPU op). This method takes into account the amino acid complementation in each meal. The data on which these conclusions are based have been presented and discussed.
 
Article
An analysis was performed on the variations of the food purchasing power of the average industry wage during the period comprised between 1975 and 1984 (increase of 7%), and of the minimum wage between November 1982 and August 1985 (decline of 73%). Development of retail prices in La Paz, for the main food groups, beverages and fuels, was analyzed over the same periods. Variations in work time, paid at average industry wage or at minimum wage, needed to acquire such foodstuffs, beverages or fuels, were also carefully studied. Similarly, development of the cost of calories and proteins was examined. Trends in accessibility of calories and proteins are described. Between 1975 and 1984 these included: a progressive decline in the number of foods that are sources of "cheap" or "very cheap" calories; the same trend was observed with regard to foods which are sources of "cheap" or "very cheap" proteins: A decline in their number and even the disappearance of any source of "very cheap" proteins, and an ever-increasing dependence on agro-industry and foreign imports (notably wheat). Finally, some proposals are made for the purpose of contributing to the establishment of food and nutrition planning. In particular, suggestion is made to automatically reevaluate the minimum wage on the basis of monetary inflation, in order to maintain at least the food purchasing power of the minimum wage. Maintaining this purchasing power greatly determines the nutritional status of the wage-earning population which purchases the most essential foodstuffs.
 
Article
In Chile infant malnutrition is better reflected by the length/age indicator than by weight/length. In this study we will present the progression of length during the first year of life from the year 1978 through 1992 of infants of low socioeconomic status. We selected healthy infants with > 3000 g birth weight and birth length > 0.5 z. According to type of milk feedings they were defined as CM (cow milk) those who were weaned before 4 months of life and EM (exclusive breast milk) those who continued exclusive breast milk (as only source of milk solids permitted) past 6 months. Infants CM of the 1978-80 cohort had a length at birth z +0.21 reaching 1 year with z -0.65, a loss of 0.86 z. Infants from the cohorts of 1982-86 and 1988-92 fell from z +0.15 to z -0.37 (a loss of -0.52 z) and +0.16 to -0.19 (a loss of -0.45 z) between birth and 12 months respectively. EBM infants length also fell significantly (delta z: -1.12, -0.69 and 0.59 respectively). Proteincalorie nutrition was adequate confirmed with weight/age or length/weight curves with means of +0.52 throughout the first year. Analysis of the length curves by regression shows that the slopes of the 3 cohorts are significantly different (< 0.01) for CM and EBM favoring the most recent cohorts. Multiple regression analysis identified association of length at 1 year with birth weight (p < 0.05), birth length (p < 0.01) and socioeconomic index (p < 0.01). We suggest that there is an improvement in the trend of Chilean infants growth in length for the past 20 years, likely due to improvement in socioeconomic level.
 
Article
A simplified method was used to analyze the diets of 31 poor families in the city of Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil. The results are presented in terms of frequency of foods consumed, nutritional density and theoretical adequacy of the diet. Intrafamilial distribution of food intake was not considered in the analysis. Results show that the home diet was very limited in variety; only eight of the 46 items in the dietary frequency were consumed by 50% or more of the sample. Nutrient density was low for calcium, riboflavin, vitamin A and zinc. Energy density, as measured by the ratio of fat calories to protein calories (G/P) was 1.0, value considered nutritionally inadequate. Protein provided 16% of the energy and, of all nine nutrients analyzed, presented the highest levels of intake compared to recommended amounts. Theoretically, the groups at greater nutritional risk were women and children.
 
Article
The most recent and reliable information on the status of breast-feeding in Central América, Panama and the Dominican Republic indicates that during the last decades, in all of these countries there has been a decrease in the prevalence and duration of breast-feeding. In some of them, this situation would seem to be reverting. Considering the importance that breast-feeding has on children's health and nutrition, the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), organized a Regional Seminar on the Promotion of Breast-feeding, which was held in Contadora Island, Panama, in April, 1983. Based on the discussions of the working groups, sectoral and integrated recommendations were formulated for the purpose of promoting breast-feeding. This document contains specific recommendations for each of the sectors represented in the Seminar.
 
Article
The effectiveness of the Quality Control System (QCS) implemented by the Fundação de Assistência ao Escolar (FAE) for quality control of food products from different types and origins purchased by the National School-Feeding Programme (NSFP) in Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil, was evaluated. Physicochemical, microbiological, microscopical and organopetical analyses were performed in 4,860 food samples and the main causes of alterations were detected. Perishability was the characteristic used for distribution of food items into 3 main groups: A, B, and C. In accordance with 972 Quality Certificates between 1985 and 1988, 31.89 of the samples were rejected. The main reasons for rejection were innacuracies of net weight and drained weight and high moisture contents. Group B presented the smallest number of altered samples (27%); for Groups A and C these values were 33% and 44%, respectively. Our data lead to the conclusion that the QCS implemented by FAE is of paramount importance for an adequate quality control of foods provided to beneficiaries and for a good cost effectiveness of the school-feeding programme.
 
Article
This paper analyzes the methodology proposed by FAO/WHO/UNU 1985 to determine energy requirements and recommendations for population groups. The physiological basis for individual requirements and the components to estimate the energy expenditure of population groups, are presented. This new approach requires a detailed knowledge of the distribution of the population by sex, age and level of physical activity. In the absence of physical activity data the distribution by employment category may be used. Our study suggests characterizing the population through the use of biotypes, according to sex, age and level of physical activity. This new approach also requires the knowledge of weight and height of a representative sample of the population. The planner should also consider a desirable level of physical activity for the population, and decide if the energy recommendation should optimize the weight and height of individuals to promote improved physical well being and health status. The application of this approach to a specific country in Latin America revealed that the available data are insufficient for an adequate estimation of energy needs of the population. Nevertheless, results suggest that the energy gaps for urban sedentary groups are less than those calculated using the traditional FAO/WHO 1973 reference pattern. The energy needs of the countries in the Region will increase as the infant population improves physical development more in accordance with the full expression of their genetic endowment. Further increases in energy needs are estimated as the general population increases the level of discretionary physical activity.
 
Article
The purpose of the present study was to determine the relative importance of different sources of nutrition information used by Chilean schoolers to learn the basics of nutrition. In this respect, a representative sample of 4,509 elementary and high-school children was randomly selected and stratified according to grade, sex, type of school and geographic area. Schoolers were individually interviewed in order to collect data related with socioeconomic status (SES) and sociocultural conditions, as well as to learn as to what they considered to be the most important sources of nutrition information influencing their nutritional learning, gathering the necessary data through a questionnaire especially designed for this purpose. Results indicated that 87.8% schoolers mentioned their family (mainly the mother), as the most important source of nutrition information; 10.7% said the school teacher, and 1.5%, mass media (0.8% television, 0.5% books, 0.1% magazines and 0.1% radio) without significant differences by sex, age and geographic area. The role attributed to the family (mother) was important in all SES categories, but proved to be significantly higher in the high SES group (91.9%) than in the low SES group (84.6%). The role attributed to the school teacher, in contrast, was lower (6.7%) in the high SES group than in the low SES group (13.8%) (p less than 0.001). In relation to mass media, the influence attributed to books and magazines was high in the high SES group, but television and radio were more important in the low SES group. On the other hand, significant differences found by type of school were related to SES. These findings could be useful in the establishment of food and nutrition policies, as well as in educational planning focused on the Chilean school population, considering that few studies have been carried out along these lines.
 
Article
In order to observe the nutritional and health status of pre-school children, the output and outcome of two formal health services -health post and creche- for this vulnerable group in two urban slum areas of Belo Horizonte, Brazil were studied in 1986. A total of 420 children were surveyed, 254 children randomly selected from the communities and 156 from three creches. Growth monitoring was not undertaken systematically, and mothers did not have growth control charts. When a child had diarrhea, mothers preferred to apply home remedies or to buy proprietary drugs rather than to consult medical personnel. 72% of mothers reported using ORT, and 11% suspending feeding completely. After three month of life, 50% of infants were receiving some breast milk. 75% of children were immunized completely. The prevalence of health and nutrition indicators such as anemia (50% vs. 30%), parasitosis (87% vs. 70%), and stunting (28% vs. 20%) was worse in the creches than in the communities.
 
Article
Changes in household food availability from 1988-1997 obtained in a representative sample of Metropolitan Santiago were assessed; and related to observed changes in the epidemiological profile. We evaluated expenditures in food and beverages from the IV and V Household Expenditure Surveys conducted every 10 years by the National Institute of Statistics to calculate the Consumer Price Index. Food items were similarly grouped and expenditures from both surveys adjusted to concordance by assigning prices according to of food; the units consumed outside and at home were determined. Food expenditures increased, leading to greater food availability in all households and income categories; the increment was largest in the poorest quintiles. Apparent consumption of processed cereals, pastries and baked goods, poultry and pork, processed dairies, beverages and juices, dressings and mayonnaise, pre cooked meals and meals consumed "out of home" increased. Fish, vegetables and fruits increased slightly with a concomitant decrease in legumes. The present dietary pattern is also characterized by a greater availability of animal food products and processed foods; increased energy density, fat and saturated fat energy, sugars and high glycemic index foods; lower in phytochemicals, antioxidants, dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. These changes are probably having a significant impact on the epidemiological and nutritional profile of the country; as manifested by an epidemic increase in obesity and chronic disease burden related to diet and physical inactivity.
 
Article
A comparative study of dietary intake of a representative sample of 651 rural school children from Chile's Metropolitan Region was carried out between two periods: 1986-1987 and 1989. Standard procedures for 24 hr dietary recall individual interviews were used to collect data. The percentage of adequacy of energy and protein intake was calculated based on FAO/OMS/UNU (1985), and vitamins and minerals according to National Research Council Recommended Dietary Allowances. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured through Graffar's Modified Method. Statistical procedures included chi-square test, analysis of variance and Student "t" test. Between 1986-1987 and 1989 not significant difference was found for dietary intake, despite the socioeconomic conditions had improved. Most part of the sample satisfied energy and protein requirements, but approximately 1/3 of the sample presented a low energy intake; the same was observed for protein intake. Protein contributed 12.0% of the dietary energy, fat 23.0% and carbohydrates 65.0%. Animal and vegetable protein intake was found in the proportion 4:6. Dietary intake significantly differed according to age and SES, and deficiencies in calcium, vitamin A, riboflavin and niacin intake were detected in both sexes. These results could be useful for food and nutrition planning related to school feeding programs and nutrition education.
 
Article
The objective of this study was to investigate the food habits of a representative sample of 651 rural school-age children from Chile's Metropolitan Region and to carry out a comparative study between 1986-1987 and 1989. Food habits were defined as the frequency of consumption of foods expressed as days per week and were determined through a questionnaire administered to school-age children by the investigators and were compared with Model Allowance, established by Chile's Ministry of Health. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured through Graffar's modified method. Statistical procedures included analysis of variance and student "t" test for comparison of the means. The frequency of consumption of most food decreased in 1989 compared with 1986-1987. Most consumed foods (above 90%) were bread and potatoes and between 70-75% of the school-age children consumed milk, meat, yoghurt, poultry, eggs, beans, onions, cabbage, squash, lettuce, bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, biscuits, spaghetti, rice, oil, butter, carbonated beverages and juices, candies, sugar and chocolate. Foods most disliked were fresh cheese (69.3%), radish (62.2%), shellfish (59.4%) and chickpeas (48.8%). Males presented a frequency of consumption of beans, chickpeas (p < 0.05), lentil and chard swiss (p < 0.01) significantly higher than females, but these last ones registered a frequency of consumption of apples, cookies, oil (p < 0.05), onions and candies (p < 0.01) significantly higher than males. The frequency of consumption of most foods, especially milk, fish and bread (p < 0.01) decreased with age. SES had no effect on food habits of the school-age children. These results could be useful in the School Feeding Program (PAE) and in nutrition education related to school population.
 
Article
The objective of this study was to carry out a comparative study of the nutritional status of a representative sample of 651 rural school children from Chile's Metropolitan Region between two periods: 1986-1987 and 1989. The percentages of weight/age (%W/A), height/age (%H/A) and weight/height (%W/H), as well as Z scores were compared with WHO Tables; head circumference/age (%HC/A), with Tanner Tables and brachial anthropometric measurements with Frisuncho standards. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured through Graffar's Modified Method. Statistical procedures included analysis of variance, "t" test for comparison of the means and chi-square. In 1989, results showed an improvement, both present nutritional status (%W/H) and SES as compared with 1986-1987 period. %W/A increased and %H/A decreased from 1986-1987 to 1989. %W/H should be a better indicator of nutritional status due to the high incidence of growth failure (47.4%) which was detected in 51.9% and 30.9% in low-low SES and medium SES, respectively (p < 0.001). Obesity was significantly higher in females (23.5%) than in males (13.2%) (p < 0.05) by which this problem must be prevented to avoid negative consequences in present and adult life. %HC/A positively and significantly increased from 1986-1987 to 1989 confirming that educational selectivity apparently relates to %HC/A, and not to %W/A or %H/A. Considering that only 13.0% of school-age children were beneficiaries of the School Feeding Program (PAE), the high prevalence of undernutrition and growth failure in non-beneficiaries and the fact that most part of the sample (86.9%) belong to low-SES, it should be necessary to increase the covering of PAE in the rural area of Chile's Metropolitan Region.
 
Article
The present study analyzes the aterogenic factors of the diet of the Costa Rican population in various population and geographic groups. Data utilized was obtained from the Second National Survey on Apparent Food Consumption, 1991. Results found that on the national level consumption of fats, in relation to total caloric intake was higher than recommended levels. Likewise, the percentage of saturated fats exceed the established recommendations for prevention cardiovascular disease, and the intake of polyunsaturated fats was inferior to recommended levels. P/S ratio was 0.3, a value within the range considered to be aterogenic. Cholesterol intake is considered to be adequate. Cholesterol-Saturated-Index (CSI) of the majority of the diets studied was high, as reported in similar situation in other countries where cardiovascular disease is likewise the first cause of death. Dietary fiber was found to be in the lower levels of the daily recommendations. Also, the intake of vitamin C and E shows normal values, while intake of vitamin A is deficient. The principal source of three types of fat in the diet, as well as vitamin E, was shortening made from palm oil, which in spite of no being a rich source of unsaturated fatty acid, the consumption of it is high. Egg is the main source of cholesterol and dietary fiber is primarily obtained from beans. In conclusion, the Costa Rican diet presents a nutritional imbalance which can be considered an atherogenic risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
 
Article
Promotion of breast feeding is a priority in Chilean health's policies. The aim of the study was to evaluate the tendency of breastfeeding (exclusive, continued, partial), in children less than 18 months old, controlled in the Chilean public health system, based in four national surveys. Through a 24 h food intake recall (breastfeeding, water, juice, infant formula, solids) food patterns were explored every 3 years, as well as maternal participation in jobs located away from home. the sample consisted of approximately 10 thousand children, less than 18 months old of the 28 health services throughout the country. The prevalence of children with exclusive breastfeeding, predominant (breastfeeding, water or juice), complemented (breastfeeding plus solids) or any other way of feeding for each month of age in each survey, and changes in period studied, was determined. Between 1993 and 2002, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months increased from 16 to 43.1% (p<0.001) and predominant breastfeeding from 25.4 to 57.4%. at the same time, complemented breastfeeding at 12 months increased from 10.7 to 21.3%, and partial or complemented breastfeeding in 12 to 18 month old children went from 24.1 to 46.7%. Maternal work located away from home was inversely associated with the prevalence of exclusive and complemented breastfeeding during the first year (p<0.001). There has been a significant increase of maternal breastfeeding in the period analyzed. The negative effects of maternal labor on breastfeeding suggests to explore more effective forms of social support to the working mother.
 
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate the growth of Chilean infants from medium-to-low socioeconomic status fed according to the current WHO guidelines. Growth pattern was compared to a recent reference chart published by WHO for infants, and the NCHS/WHO growth standards. The source of information was a nation-wide infant feeding survey conducted in 1993. From this database, infants aged 1-12 month +/- 5 days, with exclusive breast feeding until the fourth or sixth month were selected (939 males, 940 females). The weight-for-age z-score (WAZ), and the height-for-age z-score (HAZ) were calculated using both the NCHS/ WHO and the new WHO reference growth charts. At each month of age, WHZ and HAZ results were grouped in the following categories: < = -2.0; -1.9 to -1.0; 0 +/- 0.9; 1.0 to 1.9; and > = 2.0. Observed WAZ at the first month of age was below the new WHO reference chart (0.32 z-score), increasing up to 1.29 z-score at the tenth month. The HAZ results were lower the WHO reference chart throughout the period studied, although a trend to improved values was noted during the second semester (F = 6.01 p < 0.001). Growth pattern of the studied group was more similar to the NCHS/WHO chart than the new chart proposed by WHO. As a consequence, the new WHO reference chart identifies a higher proportion of the infants as having a subnormal nutritional status during the first semester of life, compared to those classified in this category by the NCHS/WHO standards (p < 0.001). This can be a factor for the introduction of complementary foods early in life. The relative homogeneity of the population used as source of the WHO reference chart may limit it use in developing countries.
 
Article
In 1996, were studied in Costa Rica 961 children with ages between one and six years, with representation for metropolitan, urban and rural zones of the country. The classification approaches applied were emitted by the Pan-American Health Organization and the World Health Organization. The preschooler population presented in the national environment a prevalence of anemia of 26.3% (children from 1 to 4 years with hemoglobin < 11.0 g/dL and those from 5 to 6 years old with hemoglobin < 12.0 g/dL). The prevalence of Iron depletion (Ferritin < 12 ng/mL) and iron deficiency (Ferritin < 24 ng/mL) were 24.4% and 53.8%, respectively. The folate deficiency (< 6.0 ng/mL) was 11.4%. The iron deficiency was higher in children smaller than 4 years, being the maximum deficiency in the 1 year-old (75%). More than 40% of the preschool children presented sub-clinical deficiency of iron; of them, 10% showed severe deficiency of iron without presence of anemia. The children from the rural area presented the highest prevalence of anemia and iron depletion, while the metropolitan area met more frequency with iron deficiency. The nutritional anemias still constitute a moderate problem of public health in Costa Rica. The main cause is iron deficiency, associated in small proportion with folate deficiency and other factors associated with the erythropoiesis.
 
Article
In 1996, The Ministry of Health and Inciensa conducted the latest National Nutrition Survey, to provide support and guidance to the national policies, plans and programs in the field of food and nutrition. The present paper reports the results for the prevalence of anemia estimated in a total of 884 women of reproductive age, in three areas: metropolitan area, other urban areas and rural areas. Anemia was determined through measurements of hemoglobin, plasma ferritin and plasma folates. In addition, hemoglobin patterns were determined by electrophoresis. The cutt-off points used were those recommended by the WHO. Anemia was present in 18.6% of the women. Severe to moderate deficiency of iron (< 12 ng/dl) and of folates (< 6 ng/dl) were found in 43.2 and 24.7% of women respectively, with statistically significant differences by area of residence. The magnitude of the problem for anemia can be classified as mild, for iron deficiency as severe, and for folate deficiency as moderate. In conclusion, Anemia represents a public health problem for Costa Rica that has remained constant throughout the last decade. In women of reproductive age, iron deficiency is the main cause of Anemia, followed by folates deficiency, and in a small percentage hemoglobinopathies. Intestinal parasites are not longer a mayor cause of Anemia. Prevalence of Anemia is influenced by place of residence, but not by age. In summary, despite the favorable health conditions present in Costa Rica, the prevalence of Anemia and of iron deficiency are similar to those of the Latin-American region. To improve this situation, public health interventions are necessary.
 
Article
To evaluate food consumption and identify the main food sources of energy and nutrient intake in the Canary Island population (1997-98). Cross-sectional epidemiological study. A dietary survey was realised in a representative sample of the Canary Island population (n = 1747; 821 men and 926 women) aged 6 to 75 years. The dietary survey technique utilised consisted of two 24-hour recalls over nonconsecutive days. Spanish Food Composition Tables were used as references. Food composition in the Canary Islands is characterised by typical Canary Island eating patterns, which have lost some of their Central American characteristics and have acquired clearly Mediterranean elements. As such, an acceptable intake of milk was noted (301 g/day) with highly elevated dairy product consumption (71 g/day), high intake of potatoes (143 g/day), moderate meat (red meat 46 g/day) and fish (46 g/day) consumption and low cereal (125 g/day) and legume (27 g/day) intakes. Nut consumption was observed to be fairly low (2 g/day), and average fruit intake (218 g/day) and low vegetable consumption (108 g/day) were also noted, the later being the lowest intake detected in Spain. It is also worth noting the elevated consumption of sweets (49 g/day). An inverse relationship was detected between social class and consumption of potatoes and pulses, and a direct one between vegetables, sausages and cheese. The main sources of energy were cereals and dairy products (21.2% and 18.4%, respectively), as well as the principal sources of saturated fats (5.8% and 28.1%), calcium (6.6% and 67.8%), sodium (27.5% and 18.8%) and riboflavin (6.6% and 41.2%).
 
Article
To evaluate the consumption of energy and nutrients and to identify the risk of inadequate intakes in the Canary Island population (1997-98). Cross-sectional epidemiological study. A dietary survey was conducted in a representative sample of the Canary Island population (n = 1747; 821 men and 926 women) aged 6 to 75 years. Two 24-hour recalls were utilised as the dietary survey instrument, carried out over non-consecutive days. Spanish Food Composition Tables were used and data was adjusted for intraindividual variability. The mean daily intakes were 1760 kcal for energy, 73 g for protein, 228 g for carbohydrates, 15 g for fibre and 62 g for fat (24 g SFA, 25 g MUFA and 8 g PUFA). Energy and nutrient consumption decreased with age excluding vitamins A. C and folate. Nutrient density increased with age, with the lowest intakes seen in children and adolescents. As for social class, decreased calorie intake was observed in the lowest category, with the highest income level showing the greatest intakes for vitamin A, B12, niacin and folate. Noteworthy findings include an overall low calorie intake, and elevated risks of inadequate intakes (percentages of the population with intakes below 2/3 of the RDI) for vitamins D (92.5%), E(87.4%), A(74%), folate(44.7%), iron(30.1%) magnesium (14.9%) and vitamin C (5.4%). Risk for inadequate protein intake was not observed.
 
Article
To know the distribution of certain anthropometric parameters and cardiovascular risk factors: hypercholesterolemia, arterial hypertension, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and diabetes mellitus in the population of the Canary Islands. Epidemiological, cross-sectional study, with description of prevalence. 1365 individuals from de Canary Islands: 637 males (45.9%) and 738 females (54.1%) aged 18 to 75 years. In the Canary Islands obesity was found in 18.6% of the population, 14.3% males and 22.3% females. The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia was 30.4%, with an average serum cholesterol level of 213.1 mg/dl in males and 218.7 mg/dl in females. 63.1% of the population declared to have a sedentary lifestyle. In the population between 18 and 75 years old, the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia was 30.4%. The Canary Islands show a high prevalence of obesity compared to other Spanish data and low if we compare it with Latin American countries. The average and prevalent serum cholesterol levels are higher than those described in the rest of Spain and Latin America. The prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle during spare time is similar to the average of our country and lower than the one described in Latin America.
 
Article
The principal findings of the Canary Island Nutrition survey (ENCA). 1997-98 are presented. This survey was realised to obtain the following objectives: to evaluate eating habits and nutritional status utilising dietary, anthropometric and biochemical indicators in the Canary Island population along with determining lifestyle factors and the prevalence of the main cardiovascular risk factors. Additionally, a survey evaluating food-related knowledge and attitudes was also carried out. To attain this end, a cross-sectional study was realised in a representative sample of the Canary Island population aged 6 to 75 years (n = 1,747). This article summarises the key findings related to study objectives as well as study-derived recommendations to be realised within a Canary Island health and nutrition policy framework. For this purpose, the development of food based dietary guidelines addressed to meet target nutrients is needed.
 
Article
The nutritional status and some risk factors in 894 school children (ages 6 to 12) in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil, were analyzed based on the data collected by the Second State Research on Nourishment, Health and Nutrition carried out in 1997. The cutoff point used in the nutritional evaluation was the limit referring to -2 score-Z, being the NCHS the reference standard. The prevalence of stunting in the state was of 16.9%. Rural areas were more affected, reaching 27.1%. Bivariate analysis showed that the low socioeconomic level of the children and their families is associated with the occurrence of stunting. The logistic regression model pointed the variables: residence location, gender, access to treated potable water, low education, and per-capita income as the main determinants in stunting. The conjunct analysis of all the factors that explain the malnutrition found among the school children studied showed that the probability of a school-aged child to present height deficit varied from 1.5 to 60.3% depending on the risk factors taken into account, therefore showing different epidemiological "scenarios." The study also concluded that in the State of Pernambuco the height deficit constitutes a public health problem especially for school children in rural areas, showing two very different epidemiologic realities between urban and rural areas.
 
Article
Nutrition surveys include information about dietary intake and nutritional status utilising clinical, biochemical and anthropometric measurements. To evaluate the nutritional status of the Canary Island population by means of biochemical and haematological indicators A cross-sectional study was realised in a representative subsample aged 6 to 75 years that participated in the Nutritional Survey of the Canary Islands, 1997-98 (ENCA). We determined levels of ferritin and vitamin B12 (enzyme-immunoassay), serum and erythrocytic folic acid (automated ionic catchment), retinol, tocopherol and carotenes (high performance liquid chromatography) and minerals (atomic absorption spectrometry) There were neither sex, age nor socio-economic differences in the reference population sample and the ENCA sample. The participation rate was 48.8%. 25% of the women had deficit levels of ferritin and the prevalence of anaemia in women over 18 years was 2.9%. 13% of the population had low erythrocyte folic acid levels, that increased with age, and 3.4% had low vitamin B12 levels, which, on the contrary, decreased with age, 15% of the population presented a deficit of alpha-tocopherol and 5.2% of retinol, being more frequent in the youngest group, and 56.4% and 41.1% exhibited low levels of beta-carotene and lycopene respectively. Among mineral and trace elements, low levels of manganese drew attention due to its heightened prevalence, and, to a lesser extent, selenium. In spite of the complexity of its interpretation, this data yields a precise estimation of nutritional status for certain vitamins and minerals in the Canary Island population.
 
Article
Unlabelled: Body mass index (BMI) has been employed as an epidemiologic predictor of fetal growth. But most of the studies are focused on BMI values for non pregnancy women, while BMI varies according to gestational age. On the other hand, adolescence has been considered as a risk factor for intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR: birthweight for gestational age < 10th. centile). The aims of this study were: 1) to identify the distribution for weight, height and BMI in adolescent and adult pregnancies, 2) to measure the association between maternal BMI and fetal growth and 3) to evaluate the relative risk to have an intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) according to maternal BMI. 2409 pregnancies and their newborns were studied. Maternal height and weight were measured and BMI by gestational age was calculated by trimesters of gestation. Birthweight, recumbent length, cephalic perimeter, BMI and weight by gestational age were determined in the newborns. Z score by gestational age were calculated in each pregnant woman taken into account the cut of point of BMI of -1 standard deviation. There were highly statistically significants differences in both body size and body composition between adolescent and adult mothers and in their newborns. The newborns from mothers with BMI under -1 standard deviation were smaller and the relative risk to have an IUGR was double for newborns whose mothers had BMI under -1 standard deviation. Conclusions: 1--Both body size and composition values differs between newborns from mothers under or above the cut off point of -1SD of BMI and 2--The risk to have an IUGR was double in pregnancies under -1 SD of BMI, independently to the age of the mother.
 
Article
PIP These data were collected as part of the longitudinal study on nutrition and mental development promoted by INCAP in rural areas of Guatemala to investigate indicators of risk of moratlity during the 1st year of life. 1384 children born between January 1968-September 1976 were observed. Of these only 578 were measured before the 15th day of life; in this group there were 18 deaths, or 3.11%, within the 1st year of life. Of the remaining 764 children whose anthrompometric measures had not been taken, 29, or 3.79% died within the 1st year of life. Measures investigated were weight, height, arm circumference and head circumference. High risk infants were those with weight less than 3 kg, height equal or less than 48 cm, head circumference equal or less than 35 mm, and arm circumference equal or less than 9.9 mm. These variables can easily be used as simple indicators of risk of death in infant health care centers in both urban and rural areas.
 
Top-cited authors
Maria LAURA Arias
  • University of Costa Rica
Roberto Bressani
  • Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale
Liseti Solano
  • Universidad de Carabobo, UC
Gaspar Ros
  • University of Murcia
Maria J Periago
  • University of Murcia