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Public Health Nutr. 2009 Dec;12(12):2335-42. doi: 10.1017/S1368980009004923. Epub 2009 Mar 4.

Dietary practices and nutritional status of 0-24-month-old children from Brazilian Amazonia.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Av Dr Arnaldo 715, São Paulo, Brazil.



To assess the nutritional status and dietary practices of 0-24-month-old children living in Brazilian Amazonia.


Cross-sectional study. Information on children's dietary intakes was obtained from diet history data. Weight and length were measured for anthropometric evaluation. Fe status was assessed using fasting venous blood samples; Hb, serum ferritin and soluble transferrin receptor concentrations were measured.


The towns of Assis Brasil and Acrelândia in the state of Acre, north-west Brazil.


A total of sixty-nine randomly selected 0-24-month-old children.


Of these children, 40.3 % were anaemic, 63.1 % were Fe-deficient, 28.1 % had Fe-deficiency anaemia and 11.6 % were stunted. Breast-feeding was initiated by 97.1 % of mothers, followed by early feeding with complementary foods. The dietary pattern reflected a high intake of carbohydrate-rich foods and cow's milk, with irregular intakes of fruit, vegetables and meat. All infants and 92.3 % of toddlers were at risk of inadequate Fe intakes. Fe from animal foods contributed on average 0.5 % and 14.3 % to total dietary Fe intake among infants and toddlers, respectively.


Poor nutritional status and inadequate feeding practices in this study population reinforce the importance of exclusive breast-feeding during the first 6 months of life. Greater emphasis is required to improve the bioavailability of dietary Fe during complementary feeding practices.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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