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mality continues being the predominant nutritional condition according to both BMI‑for-age and height-for-age (table 1). This situation may be explained by an improvement of conditions 258 of food security or feeding practices or access to health services or increased coverage of food security programs. However, BMI/A analysis evidence a trend to the increasing of malnutrition in this region, especially for children between 5 and 8 years of age. It is important to recognize that this population could quickly fall into moderate or severe malnutrition in the event that take place prolonged periods of time with an inadequate nutrition (14). This fact should be timely intervened given that could be a tendency to increase the clinic risks in adulthood. Stunting is a linear growth retardation which results from inadequate intake of food over a long period of time, micronutrient deficiencies, exposure to environmental pathogens and poor sanitation, suboptimal feeding practices, poor prenatal nutrition causing intrauterine growth retardation, impaired Ortega R. y cols. growth plate regulation, and disruption in the gut microbiota and immune system (15). Acosta and Meisel analyzed the evolution of height among Colombians of different ethnic groups born between 1965 and 1990 (13). Their findings reveal that Afro-Colombians were the tallest group. These observations are consistent with the results reported here in Guapi, Lopez de Micay and Timbiquí (see table 4). Under this result and considering the real survival conditions of the population of these regions which evidence the historical racial differences in socioeconomic variables and disparities in nutritional outcomes respect to white population (3), one could think that WHO cut-offs are not the best references for these target samples. The independence of normal status of gender and the dependence of malnutrition of municipality and age ranges in terms of BMI/A were verified through multiple regression analysis (table 5). Likewise, normal growth was associated to municipality where were residing the children, gender TABLE 2 Independent variables and growth indicators of schoolchildren living in Cauca pacific coast discriminated by gender. Variable Male Female p (n=3 611) (n=3 182) Age ranges (years), n (%) 5-8 1 174 (50,6) 1 145 (49,4) 0,005 9-11 1 007 (54,1) 857 (46,0) 12-14 809 (52,9) 719 (47,1) 15-18 621 (57,4) 461 (42,6) Ethnicity, n (%) 0,889 Afro 3 473 (53,2) 3 050 (46,8) Indigenous 12 (54,5) 10 (45,5) Mestizo 126 (50,8) 122 (49,2) Weight (kg) Average ± SDa 35,5 (14,1) 34,9 (13,7) 0,052 Height (m) Average ± SDa 1,39 (0,19) 1,37 (0,17) 0,000 BMIb-for-age classification, n (%) 0,207 Obesity 123 (53,5) 107 (46,5) Overweight 436 (52,7) 392 (47,3) Normal 2 347 (52,6) 2 114 (47,4) Risk of thinness 518 (55,3) 418 (44,7) Thinness 187 (55,3) 151 (44,7) Height-for-age, n (%) Normal 2 075 (51,5) 1 954 (48,5) 0,019 Risk of stunting 1 019 (56,1) 799 (43,9) Stunted 517 (54,7) 429 (45,3) Municipality, n (%) Guapi 1 175 (55,0) 962 (45,0) 0,084 Lopez de Micay 1 579 (51,8) 1 470 (48,2) Timbiquí 857 (53,3) 750 (46,7) Area, n(%) Urban 1 408 (51,7) 1 317 (48,3) 0,022 Rural 2 203 (54,2) 1 865 (45,8) aSD: Standard deviation; bBMI: Body Mass Index.


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