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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


DA SILVA, João B et al. The nutritional status of schoolchildren living in the semi-arid area of northern Brazil . Rev. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.1, pp.62-71. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective This study was aimed at describing the nutritional status of 10 to 17 year old children enrolled in public and private schools from different regions having specific Brazilian semi-arid area characteristics. Material and methods This was a cross-sectional, descriptive and comparative study using a stratified probability sample (n=1 701). 900 children were male and 801 female selected from three cities, randomly chosen from 3 cities which were representative of the regions: Leste Potiguar-RLP (n=1,158), Oeste Potiguar-ROP (n=312) and Central Potiguar-RCP (n=231). They were divided into three age groups: 10 to 12 years, 13 and 14 years and e ³ 15 years. Conde and Monteiro cutoff points were used for body mass index (BMI) classification. Results Regarding the regions, there was a significant difference (p<0001) in BMI distribution. RLP presented excess weight and obesity (6.8 %, 15.2 %), ROP (16.3 %, 9.6 %) and RCP (10.4 %, 3.9 %), respectively. Conclusions Adolescents in the most favored regions (especially students in private schools in the region) had a prevalence of being overweight and suffering from obesity.

Keywords : nutritional transition; nutrition disorder; epidemiologic study; public health.

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