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Trend of malnutrition in santiago chile 1969 1979

, : Trend of malnutrition in santiago chile 1969 1979. Boletin de la Oficina Sanitaria Panamericana 99(2): 185-191

A study has been made of the changes in and tendency of malnutrition in the population under five years of age in the city of Santiago, Chile, during the period 1969-1979, by analyzing the information from three studies done in 1969, 1974 and 1979, respectively. The data were standardized for comparability and the nutritional status of the children was quantified by the Sempe tables. The results show that the prevalence of malnutrition declined from 27.4% to 15.0% during the period. Meanwhile, second and third-degree malnutrition together declined from 6.8% to 1.0%. This drop in malnutrition was found to be associated with socieconomic variables (quality of the housing unit, water supply, excreta disposal and crowding) and biodemographic variables (age and schooling of parents, relationship to the head of the household, and birthweight). Since the study is one of the few to have evaluated the problem in Chile by a single criterion for the whole period, its findings may be regarded as truly representative of the trend of malnutrition, and that this grave public health problem is on the way to being brought under control in the city of Santiago.

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