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    Lachat, Carl 2013. Making nutrition work for development. Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 16, Issue. 09, p. 1529.


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Adequacy of child anthropometric indicators for measuring nutritional stress at population level: a study from Niakhar, Senegal

  • Michel Garenne (a1), Bernard Maire (a2), Olivier Fontaine (a3) and André Briend (a4)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S136898001200448X
  • Published online: 09 October 2012
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To compare the responsiveness of different anthropometric indicators for measuring nutritional stress among children in developing countries.

Design

Growth was studied within 6-month intervals in a rural Senegalese community during one dry and two rainy (hungry) seasons. Responsiveness was defined as the change divided by the standard deviation of each anthropometric indicator. Contrast was defined as the difference in responsiveness between dry and rainy seasons.

Setting

The study was conducted in Niakhar, a rural area of Senegal under demographic surveillance, with contrasted food and morbidity situations between rainy and dry seasons.

Subjects

Some 5000 children under 5 years of age were monitored at 6-month intervals in 1983–1984. The present analysis was carried out on a sub-sample of children aged 6–23 months with complete measures, totalling 2803 children-intervals.

Results

In both univariate and multivariate analysis, mid-upper arm circumference was found to be more responsive to nutritional stress than the commonly used weight-for-height Z-score (contrast = −0·64 for mid-upper arm circumference v. −0·53 for weight-for-height Z-score). Other discriminant indicators were: muscle circumference, weight-for-height, BMI and triceps skinfold. Height, head circumference and subscapular skinfold had no discriminating power for measuring the net effect of nutritional stress during the rainy season.

Conclusions

The use of mid-upper arm circumference for assessing nutritional stress in community surveys should be considered and preferred to other nutritional indicators. Strict standardization procedures for measuring mid-upper arm circumference are required for optimal use.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email andre.briend@gmail.com
Linked references
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1.M Myatt , T Khara & S Collins (2006) A review of methods to detect cases of severely malnourished children in the community for their admission into community-based therapeutic care programs. Food Nutr Bull 27, 3 Suppl., S723.

5.A Seal & M Kerac (2007) Operational implications of using 2006 World Health Organization growth standards in nutrition programmes: secondary data analysis. BMJ 334, 733.

7.M Myatt , A Duffield , A Seal et al. (2009) The effect of body shape on weight-for-height and mid-upper arm circumference based case definitions of acute malnutrition in Ethiopian children. Ann Hum Biol 36, 520.

8.B Bogin & MI Varela-Silva (2010) Leg length, body proportion, and health: a review with a note on beauty. Int J Environ Res Public Health 7, 10471075.

10.GF Cahill Jr (2006) Fuel metabolism in starvation. Annu Rev Nutr 26, 122.

18.CW Kuzawa (1998) Adipose tissue in human infancy and childhood: an evolutionary perspective. Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl. 27, 177209.

21.MI Velzeboer , BJ Selwyn , F Sargent et al. (1983) The use of arm circumference in simplified screening for acute malnutrition by minimally trained health workers. J Trop Pediatr 29, 5966.

22.MK Mwangome , G Fegan , AM Prentice et al. (2011) Are diagnostic criteria for acute malnutrition affected by hydration status in hospitalized children? A repeated measures study. Nutr J 10, 92.

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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
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