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Boletín médico del Hospital Infantil de México

versión impresa ISSN 1665-1146


FLORES-HUERTA, Samuel et al. Health services perspective of the nutrition of Mexican children: IV. Prevention of shortage and emerging nutritional problems during childhood. Bol. Med. Hosp. Infant. Mex. [online]. 2009, vol.66, n.6, pp.562-565. ISSN 1665-1146.

To demonstrate childhood nutritional problems, both those that are a consequence of underdevelopment (stunted and micronutrient deficiencies) and those emerging problems (overweight and obesity), we stress the importance of promoting breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary feeding. It is also recommended to measure body mass index to detect timely childhood growth deviations. To prevent low birth weight, high-quality antenatal care must be offered to mothers in accessible health facilities that are equipped to resolve pregnancy-related complications including newborn delivery by healthcare professionals. Several measures are helpful for preventing iron deficiency anemia such as increasing the iron reserves of pregnant women, retarding clamping of the umbilical cord that, in turn, increases the iron reserves of the newborn. We must eliminate risk factors for iron loss through the gastrointestinal tract and provide iron supplementation for at-risk infants. Folie acid also must be included in the supplement. Prevalence of stunting in poor communities is generally associated with zinc deficiency. Sufficient portions of animal and seafood products should be included in the daily diet, and supplements with this micronutrient should be provided in order to help prevent its deficiency. Regarding the emergent nutritional problems, we discuss the prevention of obesity due to its severe health consequences. Currently, there is no consensus about the most cost-effective interventions. In addition to the high proportion of therapeutic failures, several actions using as a model the energy balance equation from gestation to the child's age are proposed. We discuss about the amount of food and food composition as risk factors for obesity, along with the need to disregard a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity is not strictly a medical or health system responsibility but a problem shared by parents, families, schools, food producers and mass media as well as public authorities who, as social leaders, do not realize that we all are living in an obesogenic environment.

Palabras llave : nutrition; health services; child; prevention.

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