Jackson, Maria D.; Samms-Vaughan, Maureen E.; Ashley, Deanna E.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry
Nutritional status of 11-12-year-old Jamaican children: Coexistence of under- and overnutrition in early adolescence
Public Health Nutrition
Date of Publication
Determines the nutritional status of a cohort of 11-12 year olds and ascertain social and demographic factors associated with under- and overweight in early adolescence. Cross-sectional design was used. Subgroup (n = 1698) of the birth cohort (September-October 1986) of the Jamaican Perinatal Survey enrolled in schools in the Kingston Metropolitan area. One thousand and sixty-three parents or caregivers provided social and demographic information. Undernutrition and overnutrition are of public health significance among adolescent Jamaican children. Ten per cent of 11-12 year olds had body mass index (BMI) values below the 5th percentile (boys, 10.6%; girls, 7.1%) but this prevalence is relatively low compared with other developing countries. The prevalence of stunting was low (3%). The prevalence of overweight (BMI > or = 85th percentile) (19.3%) was approaching prevalence rates found in the USA. Similar social and demographic variables were associated with thinness and fatness in males. Birth weight predicted overweight in girls. Under- and overnutrition in early adolescence are important problems in Jamaica. There is a need to address both under- and overnutrition in adolescence in preventive and rehabilitative intervention programmes.....