Accepted paper:

Relationship between nutrition and diet in children of one to four years of age in Yucatan, Mexico


Heriberto Emilio Cuanalo de la Cerda (Cinvestav-IPN. Merida, Mexico)
Sudip Datta Banik (Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (Cinvestav))

Paper short abstract:

Under-nutrition in children of Yucatan aged 1 to 4 years could be explained mainly by the high incidence of diseases due to poor housing and sanitation conditions.

Paper long abstract:

Background. The state of Yucatan, Mexico presents extreme conditions of both undernutrition and excess weight (overweight and obesity). Aim. This study estimates the relationship between nutritional status and both energy and protein intakes. Subjects. Children of one to four years of age. Methods. Correlation and regression analysis were carried out on the data of both the National Health and Nutrition Survey and the OPPORTUNIDADES program. Results. Height and weight were significantly correlated with age as well as total food intake. No correlations were found between age and anthropometric indices or food intake rates. There was no deficiency of protein intake among children but a lack of energy intake was noted. There was a lack of correlation between nutritional status and dietary intake rates. Preschoolers with more weight for height were found to achieve greater height for age. Those relationships could be explained by life history theory in that energy was used either in maintenance (fighting or recovering from infections) or growth. Conclusion. The poor relationship between food intake rates and nutritional status could be explained mainly by the high incidence of diseases due to poor housing conditions, water and sanitation in general that are common in Yucatan.

panel BH01
Health, nutrition and physical growth in developing nations