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Nutrition in Colombian pregnant women

  • Olga L Sarmiento (a1), Andrea Ramirez (a1), Belén Samper Kutschbach (a2), Paula L Pinzón (a1), Sandra García (a3), Angie C Olarte (a1), Tatiana Mosquera (a1), Eduardo Atalah (a4), Gabriel Ojeda (a3) and Yibby Forero (a5)...

The present study aimed to evaluate the nutritional status of pregnant women in Colombia and the associations between gestational BMI and sociodemographic and gestational characteristics.


Cross-sectional study. A secondary analysis was made of data from the 2005 Demographic and Health Survey of Colombia.


Bogotá, Colombia.


Pregnant adolescents aged 13–19 years (n 430) and pregnant women aged 20–49 years (n 1272).


The gestational BMI and sociodemographic characteristics of the adolescents differed from those of the pregnant adult women. Thirty-one per cent of the adolescents were underweight for gestational age, compared with 14·5 % of the adult women. Eighteen per cent of adolescents were overweight for gestational age, in contrast to 37·3 % of adult women. The overall prevalence of anaemia was 44·7 % and the prevalence of low serum ferritin was 38·8 %. Women within the high quintiles of the wealth index (prevalence odds ratio (POR) = 0·56; 95 % CI 0·34, 0·91, P < 0·02) had lower odds of being underweight. Women who received prenatal care (POR = 2·17; 95 % CI 1·48, 3·09, P < 0·001) and were multiparous (POR = 2·10; 95 % CI 1·43, 3·15, P < 0·0 0 1) had higher odds of being overweight. Women in extended families (POR = 0·63; 95 % CI 0·50, 0·95, P < 0·025) had lower odds of being overweight.


Underweight in pregnant adolescents and overweight in adult women coexist as a double burden in Colombia. Factors associated with malnutrition among pregnant women and adolescents should be considered for future interventions in countries experiencing nutritional transition.

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