Secular Trends in Growth and Nutritional Status of Mozambican School-Aged Children and Adolescents

  • Karina Dos Santos F
  • Maia J
  • Natacha T
 et al. 
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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine secular changes in growth and nutritional status of Mozambican children and adolescents between 1992, 1999 and 2012. Methods: 3374 subjects (1600 boys, 1774 girls), distributed across the three time points (523 subjects in 1992; 1565 in 1999; and 1286 in 2012), were studied. Height and weight were measured, BMI was computed, and WHO cut-points were used to define nutritional status. ANCOVA models were used to compare height, weight and BMI across study years; chi-square was used to determine differences in the nutritional status prevalence across the years. Results: Significant differences for boys were found for height and weight (p,0.05) across the three time points, where those from 2012 were the heaviest, but those in 1999 were the tallest, and for BMI the highest value was observed in 2012 (1992,2012, 1999,2012). Among girls, those from 1999 were the tallest (1992,1999, 1999.2012), and those from 2012 had the highest BMI (1999,2012). In general, similar patterns were observed when mean values were analyzed by age. A positive trend was observed for overweight and obesity prevalences, whereas a negative trend emerged for wasting, stunting-wasting (in boys), and normal-weight (in girls); no clear trend was evident for stunting. Conclusion: Significant positive changes in growth and nutritional status were observed among Mozambican youth from 1992 to 2012, which are associated with economic, social and cultural transitional processes, expressing a dual burden in this population, with reduction in malnourished youth in association with an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity.

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  • Fernanda Karina Dos Santos

  • José A R Maia

  • Thayse Natacha

  • Q F Gomes

  • Timó Teo Daca

  • Aspacia Madeira

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