Coexistence of Obesity and Anemia in Children Between 2 and 18 Years of Age in Mexico

Published in: Boletín Médico del Hospital Infantil de México, v. 68, no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2011, p. 431-437

Posted on RAND.org on November 01, 2011

by Pompilio Torres Ornelas, Homero Martinez

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.scielo.org.mx

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: According to the most recent national nutrition survey (ENSANUT 2006) in Mexico, 18.4% of the population aged 5 years or older was obese, and 19.6% of those children aged 1 year or older were anemic. Although these are two of the most highly prevalent conditions, coexistence of both conditions has not been previously described at the national level. METHODS: We carried out a secondary data analysis to determine the frequency of anemia in different categories of body mass index (BMI) and the frequency in which obesity and anemia co-occurred in children between 2 and 18 years of age. We included data from 29,893 children <18 years of age. RESULTS: The highest prevalence of anemia was found among children with low BMI (13.1%), whereas in obese children the corresponding prevalence was 9.6%. Only 1.3% of children presented obesity and anemia, and its coexistence was observed mainly in children <5 years of age (p = 0.001). Being female and being <9 years of age were the two factors significantly associated with the phenomenon under study. CONCLUSIONS: The risk for coexistence of obesity and anemia varied according to the gender and age of the children. Integral nutrition education programs are required to simultaneously address both of these issues.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.