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Nutritional status of children in rural Sarawak, Malaysia.

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  • 1Medical Department, Sarawak, Malaysia.


The nutritional status of 641 children between the ages of 0 to 4 years old, from 835 households in 41 randomly selected rural villages with water supply in Sarawak were determined. Based on Waterlow's classification and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) standards, 61% of the children were stunted and 44.1% were wasted. Based on Gomez's classification and the NCHS standards 81.9% of the children were malnourished. There was no sex difference in nutritional status. The percentage of malnourished children increased continuously with age while the percentage of children who were wasted increased from 6 to 36 months and then it leveled off. The percentage of stunted children also increased with age but the increase was sharpest in children who were 12 to 23 months old. It is noted that the Gomez classification overestimates the prevalence of undernutrition.

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