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Archivos argentinos de pediatría

Print version ISSN 0325-0075On-line version ISSN 1668-3501


BOLZAN, Andrés  and  MERCER, Raúl. Hunger perception and stunting among children living in poor conditions from the north of Argentina. Arch. argent. pediatr. [online]. 2009, vol.107, n.3, pp.221-228. ISSN 0325-0075.

Introduction. Nutritional status depicts not only the nourishing balance but also the conditions of life. Proper food availability, in form and amount, are aspects of food security. Objective. To determine the relationships between hunger perception and stunting. Method. Stratified and multiple step sample from nine provinces from the north of Argentina (n= 3630, children between 6 months to 6 years old living under poor conditions). Hunger perception was explored according to the methodology of the Service of Economic Investigation of the Department of Agriculture of the United States. Row data were converted to z scores and compared against Argentinean growth standard. The comparison took into account the -2 standard deviation cut of point and the standardized prevalence of low height. Results. 69.5% of the population experienced hunger, varying severe hunger between 38.0 to 48.0% according to provinces. The prevalence of stunting (< - 2SD) was between 10-15%. There was association between perception of hunger, height distribution and the standardized prevalence of low height. There was no association between jurisdiction and perception of hunger. Conclusion. For children, food insecurity conditions and structural poverty conditions were associated with stunting.

Keywords : Undernutrition; Hunger perception; Food security; Stunting; Poverty.

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