1.2 million children under 5 years of age in Mexico have short stature

▲ According to the results of the National Health and Nutrition Survey (Ensanut) 2021, in rural areas there is a higher incidence of children with low height and weight, while in urban areas there are more children who are overweight and obese.Photo Francisco Olvera

Laura Poy Solano

Newspaper La Jornada
Saturday, August 6, 2022, p. 9

The National Survey of Health and Nutrition (Ensanut) 2021 on covid-19 reveals that in terms of nutrition, children face multiple challenges, since in children under five years of age a prevalence of 12.6 percent was found in short stature, which affects 1.2 million infants in the country.

Likewise, it was found that 1.5 percent of preschool children suffer from wasting, a potentially fatal form of malnutrition that causes extreme thinness and weakness, and 3.7 percent are underweight, while 7.8 percent, some 777,800 children under five years, are overweight or obese.

The prevalence of these nutritional indicators by region of residence reveals that the highest incidence of low weight is found in the Peninsula, with six percent, followed by Pacific-Central with 4.9. The lowest rate is located in the Pacific-North with 1.1 percent of girls and boys.

The survey, applied between August and November of last year, highlights that the low stature in children under five years of age occurs in 24.4 percent in the Peninsula region; 15.9 percent in the Pacific-South, and 14.2 in the state of Mexico, while the Pacific-North has the lowest percentage of short-statured infants, with 3.5, followed by Mexico City, 5.9.

Children under five years of age in the Pacific-Central region have an incidence of wasting of 6.6 percent, followed by the Center with 2.4 percent. No cases were found on the northern border.

The survey sample included 12,619 households. Low weight was found to a greater extent in rural localities (5.4 percent) and to a lesser extent in urban ones (3 percent).

Similarly, short stature is more prevalent in rural localities (18.8 percent) and less so in urban ones. This trend is repeated with wasting; however, overweight plus obesity is higher in urban locations (8.6 percent).

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