Overweight and low height in children of urban, rural and indigenous communities
Journal of Human Growth and Development
populations affected by a long process of government policies related to these people, especially those close to cities with a high population rate who have had diffi culties with their livelihood, scarcity of land for planting, the introduction of processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle 5 . According to the Survey of Family Budgets (POF/ IBGE) 6 , held between 2008 and 2009 by the Ministry of Health, 33.5% of children between 5 and 9 years is overweight, representing an increase of 250% in
... lation to the year 1989. The excess weight of the juvenile population is a concern for the negative psychosocial impact and its association with co-morbidities and mortality 7 . On the other hand, in the same period, there was a reduction of 50% in the frequency of short stature in the Brazilian population, Abstract Changes in lifestyle have led to an increase of overweight in the juvenile population. However, there are limited studies about this topic in relation to an indigenous population. The aim of this study is to verify the overweight and height defi cit in children aged 8 and 9 years, of both sexes, from urban, rural and indigenous communities of the city of Nova Laranjeiras in the State of Paraná. The 277 (148 boys) students were divided into three groups: rural (n = 100), urban (n = 99) and Indian communities (n = 78). The measurements taken were body mass (kg), height (m) and body mass index. The statistics method was an analysis of covariance and chi-square test (P <.05). Among the 277 schoolchildren, the prevalence of overweight was 14.6% in the rural area, 27.1% in urban area and 30.3% in the indigenous area in boys, and 15.7% in rural areas, 17.6% in urban and 20% in Indian girls. There was no difference in the frequency of overweight among groups for both sexes. The prevalence of height defi cit was different between the groups; it was higher in indigenous children than urban and rural children. Among the Indians, 42.4% of boys and 51.1% girls had low stature. Only indigenous children were overweight and of low height, while being prevalent in 15.1% of boys and 11.1% girls. Low stature is frequent in indigenous populations, and it would be ideal to have more research to identify its causes and consequences. Children showed high rates of overweight in all regions, demonstrating that poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle are not only characteristics of urban centres.