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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


FERNANDEZ PALACIOS, Lorena et al. Degree of malnutrition and its relationship with major structural and eating factors in Honduran preschool population. Prevalence of breastfeeding. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.3, pp.639-646. ISSN 1699-5198.


Child malnutrition remains a serious public health problem in Honduras, with a national prevalence according to the World Health Organization (WHO) reference values of 29% in children under five. In addition, the average chronic malnutrition in the region amounts to 80% in poor and indigenous communities, making Honduras the second country in Central America with the highest incidence of chronic malnutrition. Another problem of the region is the early cessation of exclusive breastfeeding: only 29.7% of children were exclusively breastfed until they were six months. Therefore, the study seeks to understand, identify and quantify the situation determinants and provide information for the design of public policies.

Material and method:

The study consisted of a cross-sectional descriptive anthropometric assessment in which the nutritional status and the prevalence of undernourishment, malnutrition and malnutrition in 141 children aged between six months and five years, belonging to urban and rural regions of the country, were analyzed, as well as assessing the prevalence of breastfeeding in five Honduran departments (Intibucá, Lempira, Atlántida, Olancho and Francisco Morazán).

Results and conclusion:

When making the analysis by departments, differences regarding nutritional status and breastfeeding were observed between urban and rural areas, the latter being doubled in the case of chronic malnutrition and underweight, with percentages of 14.6% in urban areas versus 28.8% in rural areas, and 4.6% in urban areas compared to 9% in rural areas, respectively. However, with respect to acute malnutrition and overweight in both regions, similar values were observed, above 1.1% for acute and 14% for overweight malnutrition. In relation to exclusive breastfeeding for six months, the departments of Olancho and Lempira maintained it for two years, with a percentage distribution of 80% and 48%, respectively. It must be noted that 36% of mothers did not provide breastfeeding, with the highest rate (15%) in the department of Francisco Morazán.

Keywords : Honduras; Child malnutrition; Breastfeeding.

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