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J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2003 Feb;49(1):13-20.

Macronutrient intake and nutritional status of primary school-aged girls in rural and urban areas of South Vietnam.

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  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Japan Women's University, Mejirodai 2-8-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8681, Japan.


The dietary habits and nutritional status of Vietnamese primary school girls were investigated using a cross-sectional survey. We interviewed 348 girls aged 7 to 9 yr old, randomly selected from three rural (n=193) and two urban (n=155) primary schools. The nutritional status of the children was evaluated by anthropometric and biochemical data. Dietary data were calculated based on the results of a 24-h recall interview carried out for three consecutive days. The dietary macronutrient pattern of the rural group showed a deficiency of energy, fat, animal protein, and fiber content. On the other hand, high animal protein ratio, deficiency of fiber consumption, low polyunsaturated fatty acid, and high saturated fatty acid proportions were typically found in the urban group. A high number of rural children skipped lunches, resulting in low energy consumption: however, frequently skipped breakfast in the urban group did not influence total energy consumption because of extra meals taken. The mean height of rural children was 5.8 cm less than that of their urban counterparts. In addition, 11.4% of wasted rural children needed emergency intervention with energy supplementation. Moreover, a high proportion of children with a high atherogenic index (AI) (41.5%) and low HDL cholesterol (40.9%) were found in the rural group. In contrast, a tendency toward obesity, high cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and high AI was observed in a proportion of the urban children (5.2%, 15.5%, 12.3%, and 29.0%, respectively).

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