Ana Pisco; Rui Poínhos; Elisabete Catarino;
INTRODUCTION: Undernutrition in children is considered a public health issue, especially in developing countries, and its relation to an inadequate dietary intake is highly recognized. The lack of data concerning to São Tomé e Príncipe in this area makes it imperious to evaluate these children’s nutritional adequacy and to do more similar studies.
OBJECTIVES: To know the diferences between energetic and macronutrient intake and nutritional recommendations in undernourished children from 6 to 59 months of age in Cantagalo, São Tomé e Príncipe. To assess the relationship between nutritional adequacy and undernutrition type and severity, age, breastfeeding and reported difculties in access to enough food.
METHODOLOGY: In this descriptive study, a survey was applied to 118 caregivers of children from 6 to 59 months of age. Anthropometric and sociodemographic data were collected and a 24 hour recall was applied to assess children’s energy and macronutrient intake. Nutritional adequacy was determined by comparison with the DRI (non-breastfed children) and Dewey and Brown’s recommendations (for breastfed children).
RESULTS: From the sample of undernourished children, 72.9%, 59.3% and 74.6% presented values below the recommendations for energy, carbohydrates and lipids, respectively. For protein, only 14.4% were below the reference values. Older and non-breastfed children tended to be out of the recommendation. Children with moderate chronic undernutrition, comparatively to those with severe chronic undernutrition, showed a higher prevalence of energetic intake inferior to recommendations, but no signifcant diferences were found in terms of macronutrients.
CONCLUSIONS: Most of the evaluated undernourished children do not reach energetic and macronutrient recommendations, with protein being an exception. This is worse for older and non-breastfed children.
Nutritional adequacy, Energetic and macronutrient intake, São Tomé e Príncipe, Acute undernutrition, Chronic undernutrition