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J Pediatr (Rio J). 2008 May-Jun;84(3):251-7. doi: 10.2223/JPED.1776.

Some risk factors associated with overweight, stunting and wasting among children under 5 years old.

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Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS.



To explore whether socioeconomic and sanitary conditions, maternal and child factors are associated with overweight, stunting, and wasting in children under five year old in the city of São Leopoldo, southern Brazil.


Cross-sectional study of 3,957 children aged 1 month to 5 years conducted in all primary care services of the city during the National Children's Vaccination Day in 2002. Maternal and child factors were assessed by a questionnaire. Children's height and weight were measured. Cluster analysis was used to group the areas served by the primary care services according to socioeconomic and sanitary conditions of the census tracts assessed by the 2001 National Census.


Wasting was observed in 2.6% of children, stunting in 9.1% and overweight in 9.8%. The multivariable logistic regression model suggests that overweight was associated with higher socioeconomic status and better sanitation of the area (OR = 1.47; 95%CI 1.09-1.96), single child (OR = 1.44; 95%CI 1.00-2.07) and birth weight >or= 2,500 g (OR = 2.21; 95%CI 1.27-3.83). Wasting was associated with low birth weight (OR = 3.46; 95%CI 2.06-5.80) and mother's age < 20 years (OR = 1.99; 95%CI 1.09-3.62). Stunting was associated with low socioeconomic status and poor sanitation of the area (OR = 2.36; 95%CI 1.51-3.69), three or more siblings (OR = 3.12; 95%CI 2.18-4.47), low birth weight < 2,500 g (OR = 3.49; 95%CI 2.53-4.80), child age < 36 months (OR = 1.77; 95%CI 1.37-2.29) and mother's age < 20 years (OR = 1.60; 95%CI 1.09-2.35).


Overweight and stunting were the major anthropometric problems and therefore should be a priority for public policies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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