H. E. Cuanalo de la Cerda, Ernesto Ochoa Estrada, Felipe R Tuz Poot
Jan 1, 2014
Annals of Human Biology
Abstract Background: The National Health and Nutrition Survey 2006 (ENSANUT in Spanish) reported high rates of under-nutrition in children of Yucatan. Is food intake the main cause of under-nutrition in children of the state of Yucatan, Mexico? Aim: Identify the primary causes of under-nutrition in pre-school children in Yucatan. Subjects: A sample of 111 children (59 girls and 52 boys) aged 1–4 years representing Yucatan was taken from a database of ENSANUT 2006 and another national survey, a federal poverty mitigation programme for the state of Yucatan, Mexico entitled “Oportunidades”. Methods: A human ecology approach together with life history theory was used to analyse anthropometric indices and food intake data from the ENSANUT 2006 and “Oportunidades”. Results: Height and weight were significantly correlated to age and total food intake. No correlations were found between age and anthropometric indices or food intake rates. The children in the sample had adequate protein intake but deficient energy intake. No correlation was identified between nutritional status and food intake rates. Pre-schoolers with higher weight-for-height values achieved greater height-for-age. These relationships can be explained by life history theory in that energy intake was used either for maintenance (combating and recovering from infections) or growth. Conclusion: The poor relationship between food intake rates and nutritional status is probably explained by the interaction between high disease incidence and insufficient energy intake. These conditions are endemic in Yucatan due to widespread poor housing, water and sanitation conditions.